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Editor's Correspondence
April 8, 2002

Pneumonia Treatment Process and Quality

Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(7):843-844. doi:

Dedier and colleagues1 studied 1062 community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) hospitalizations and found no consistent relationship between treatment process (hours to first antibiotic administration, early blood culture collection before administration of antibiotics, and oxygenation assessment) and outcomes (inpatient death, clinical stability, and length of stay). The authors express concern about the use of process markers as measures of quality of care. They specifically mention the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' effort "to increase the proportion of patients who receive antibiotics within 8 hours of arrival, and who have blood cultures performed before antibiotics are given."

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