Unexplained wide variability exists in the performance of key initial processes of care associated with improved survival of elderly patients (those ≥65 years) hospitalized with pneumonia. The objective of this study was to assess which patient and hospital characteristics are associated with performance of these key initial processes of care for hospitalized elderly patients with pneumonia.
A retrospective cohort analysis was performed using data from the Medicare Quality Indicator System Pneumonia Module for 14 069 patients 65 years or older hospitalized with pneumonia throughout the United States. Associations were calculated using multivariate logistic regression analysis between specific patient and hospital characteristics and 2 processes of care associated with improved 30-day survival: administration of antibiotics within 8 hours of hospital arrival and blood culture collection within 24 hours of arrival.
Timely antibiotic administration was negatively associated with nonwhite race (African American: odds ratio [OR], 0.71; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.60-0.85; and other racial minorities: OR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.68-0.92), major hospital teaching status (OR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.67-0.93), and larger hospital size (≥250 beds vs <100 beds: OR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.59-0.80). Timely blood culture collection was positively associated with larger hospital size (OR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.39-1.87). Performance of both processes of care were positively associated with registered nurse–bed ratios of 1.25 or higher (for antibiotic administration: OR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.10-1.38; and for blood culture collection: OR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.26-1.61) and fever (for antibiotic administration: OR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.23-1.49; and for blood culture collection: OR, 3.07; 95% CI, 2.81-3.34) and were negatively associated with hospital location in the South (for antibiotic administration: OR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.69-0.86; and for blood culture collection: OR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.77-0.93).
Minority race, fever, nurse-bed ratio, hospital size and teaching status, and southern location are among the major patient and hospital characteristics associated, either negatively or positively, with the timeliness of performance of initial antibiotic administration and blood culture collection for patients hospitalized with pneumonia. Because performance of these processes of care is associated with improved likelihood of survival, medical providers should seek to eliminate the variations in care associated with these patient and hospital characteristics. In addition, the impact of nurse staffing changes on performance of key time-sensitive processes of care should be weighed carefully.