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Real-Time Decision Support Tool Aids ER Pneumonia Patients

Post deployment, significantly lower mortality in patients with community-acquired pneumonia

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) — For emergency department patients with pneumonia, a real-time electronic clinical decision support tool could be beneficial, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Nathan C. Dean, M.D., from Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, and colleagues conducted a prospective, controlled trial in seven Intermountain Healthcare hospital emergency departments. The authors examined the effect of a real-time electronic clinical decision support tool for patients with International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, codes and radiographic evidence for pneumonia during two periods (December 2009 through November 2010 and December 2011 through November 2012). The tool was deployed in four emergency departments in May 2011.

The researchers found that the tool was applied by physicians for 62.6 percent of intervention emergency department study patients. Post tool deployment, there was no significant difference in severity-adjusted mortality between intervention and usual-care emergency departments (odds ratio, 0.69; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.41 to 1.16). Patients with community-acquired pneumonia had significantly lower mortality (odds ratio, 0.53; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.28 to 0.99) in post-hoc analysis, while for patients with health-care-associated pneumonia there was no change in mortality (odds ratio, 1.12; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.45 to 2.8).

“Our study demonstrates the potential benefit of real-time electronic decision support for emergency department patients with pneumonia,” the authors write.

The study was partially funded by Pfizer.

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