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Interventions Up Blood Culture Ordering in Pediatric Pneumonia

Increase in blood cultures for kids hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia; no impact on LOS

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Interventions can increase blood culture ordering in children hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), with no effect on length of stay (LOS), according to a study published online March 16 in Pediatrics.

Eileen Murtagh Kurowski, M.D., from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues examined the impact of interventions to increase blood cultures in children hospitalized with CAP. The primary aim was to increase ordering of blood cultures in six months, from 53 to 90 percent. Interventions to increase blood cultures focused on three key drivers and were assessed in the emergency department and inpatient units.

The researchers found that the percentage of patients admitted with CAP who had blood cultures ordered increased from 53 to 100 percent within six months. This change was sustained for 12 months. A blood culture was ordered for 79 percent of the 303 included patients; 2.5 percent of these were positive. LOS was not increased for patients who had versus had not had a blood culture.

“Quality improvement methods were used to increase adherence to evidence-based national guidelines for performing blood cultures on children hospitalized with CAP; LOS did not increase,” the authors write. “These results support obtaining blood cultures on all patients admitted with CAP without negative effects on LOS in a setting with a reliably low false-positive blood culture rate.”

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