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Article
January 13, 1997

Triaging Care for Patients With PneumoniaReal Progress

Author Affiliations

The Genesee Hospital 224 Alexander St Rochester, NY 14607

Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(1):15-16. doi:10.1001/archinte.1997.00440220017003
Abstract

BARTLETT AND MUNDY,1 in a recent update on community-acquired pneumonia, accurately commented that "few diseases are so characterized by disputes about diagnostic evaluation and therapeutic decisions." Two major problems that contribute to the controversy in the management of these infections are the lack of sensitive and specific tests to establish a causative diagnosis rapidly and the absence of rigorous outcome studies to help define pathways of care for patients with lower respiratory tract infections. Little progress has been made on the first problem, but considerable headway has occurred on the second, as exemplified by the 2 articles on admission and discharge criteria for patients with community-acquired lower respiratory tract infections that are in this issue of the Archives.2,3

The reasons for deciding whether patients with pneumonia should be hospitalized have, until recently, been arbitrary and poorly defined. This has led to great variability in who is hospitalized for

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