Community‐acquired pneumonia: Defining quality care




Community‐acquired pneumonia (CAP) is one of 3 initial conditions for which the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have defined quality measures. Eight “core measures” of pneumonia care have been targeted for reporting by U.S. hospitals to facilitate performance monitoring.


A review of the literature supporting the core measures was performed.


Indicators encouraging influenza vaccination and appropriate antibiotic selection had the most robust evidence. Rapid delivery of antibiotics also showed significant reduction in mortality, though the actual timing (4 versus 8 hours) varied between studies. Other measures, such as performance of blood cultures, pneumococcal vaccination, smoking cessation, and oxygenation assessment, demonstrated less obvious clinical benefit.


There is inherent value in setting standards of care for high‐impact conditions such as CAP, but these standards should be chosen on the basis of high‐quality research. Public reporting of the current measures is problematic, as it implies they represent best practices for CAP despite relatively weak evidence. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2006;1:344–353. © 2006 Society of Hospital Medicine.

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