New Intermountain Healthcare study reduces pneumonia mortality rates by 38%

SALT LAKE CITY — The Intermountain Healthcare Group has made a substantial discovery by utilizing an electronic, open loop, clinical decision support (ePNa) system to care for emergency department patients with pneumonia. Among other results, the decision has helped reduce mortality rates by 38%.

“Treating pneumonia in emergency departments is challenging, especially in community hospitals that don’t see severe pneumonia as often as urban academic medical centers,” Nathan Dean, MD, section chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Intermountain Medical Center and principal investigator of this study said.

From December 2017 to June 2019, Intermountain Healthcare deployed systems to 16 of its community hospitals to treat Pneumonia, the leading cause of death from infectious diseases in the United States. During that time, participating hospitals had 6,848 pneumonia cases, and the ePNa was administered by a bedside clinician in 67% of eligible patients.

From the study, researchers gathered several positive results such as a 38% relative reduction in mortality 30 days after being diagnosed with pneumonia, with the largest reduction in mortality in patients admitted directly from the emergency department to the ICU. A 17% increase in outpatient disposition, decreased intensive care unit admission without safety concerns and lowered mean time from emergency department admission to start of first antibiotic.

“In giving clinicians a real-time assessment tool that pulls together over 50 factors that can determine how a patient will do with pneumonia, our study found that clinicians were able to make better treatment decisions with this resource,” Dr. Dean added. “Some of our community hospitals have as little as 20 beds. We wanted to validate the effectiveness of ePNa in very different healthcare settings.”

Notably, U.S. News and World Report also ranked Intermountain as high performing in pneumonia care with excellent outcomes during the time of the study.

A link to the study can be found here.

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