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A multifaceted intervention to implement guidelines improved treatment of nursing home-acquired pneumonia in a state veterans home.

Hutt E, Ruscin JM, Corbett K, Radcliff TA, Kramer AM, Williams EM, Liebrecht D, Klenke W, Hartmann S. A multifaceted intervention to implement guidelines improved treatment of nursing home-acquired pneumonia in a state veterans home. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2006 Nov 1; 54(11):1694-700.

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OBJECTIVES: To assess the feasibility of a multifaceted strategy to translate evidence-based guidelines for treating nursing home-acquired pneumonia (NHAP) into practice using a small intervention trial. DESIGN: Pre-posttest with untreated control group. SETTING: Two Colorado State Veterans Homes (SVHs) during two influenza seasons. PARTICIPANTS: Eighty-six residents with two or more signs of lower respiratory tract infection. INTERVENTION: Multifaceted, including a formative phase to modify the intervention, institutional-level change emphasizing immunization, and availability of appropriate antibiotics; interactive educational sessions for nurses; and academic detailing. MEASUREMENTS: Subjects' SVH medical records were reviewed for guideline compliance retrospectively for the influenza season before the intervention and prospectively during the intervention. Bivariate comparisons-of-care processes between the intervention and control facility before and after the intervention were made using the Fischer exact test. RESULTS: At the intervention facility, compliance with five of the guidelines improved: influenza vaccination, timely physician response to illness onset, x-ray for patients not being hospitalized, use of appropriate antibiotics, and timely antibiotic initiation for unstable patients. Chest x-ray and appropriate and timely antibiotics were significantly better at the intervention than at the control facility during the intervention year but not during the control year. CONCLUSION: Multifaceted, evidence-based, NHAP guideline implementation improved care processes in a SVH. Guideline implementation should be studied in a national sample of nursing homes to determine whether it improves quality of life and functional outcomes of this debilitating illness for long-term care residents.

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