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June 24, 1998

Quality of Care for Elderly Patients With Pneumonia

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(24):1950-1952. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-24-jac80011

To the Editor.— In their article on quality of care and outcomes in elderly patients with pneumonia, Dr Meehan and colleagues1 underscore important aspects in the process of patient care. The authors confirm that quality of patient care differs markedly within the United States, a finding that also has been shown previously in critically ill patients.2 The authors used quality-of-care indicators obtained from a hospital survey, literature reviews, and expert panels to assess process-of-care performance. When they studied the relationship between the adherence to these quality indicators and survival in elderly patients with pneumonia, the authors showed that early administration of antibiotics and blood culture collection within 24 hours of admission were significantly related to a better outcome.

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