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September 26, 2007

Pneumonia Treatment Standards in Emergency Departments

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2007;298(12):1397-1398. doi:10.1001/jama.298.12.1397-c

To the Editor: There are some points in the Medical News & Perspectives article on pneumonia treatment in emergency departments by Mr Mitka1 that we believe need clarification. In the article, The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations/Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services pneumonia performance measures are referred to as standards. Performance measures and standards serve distinct purposes in the quality-of-care monitoring and evaluation process. The purpose of standards is to set forth performance expectations for activities that affect the safety and quality of patient care and thus to provide the basis for appropriate and effective course of action. Performance measures are used to determine the degree to which evidence-based practices are actually followed and their effect on patient outcomes.