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Surgeons' pilot prevention program reduces incidence of postoperative pneumonia
Date:5/3/2010

e swabs; (4) ambulation with good pain control; (5) head of bed elevation to at least 30 degrees and sitting up for all meals; (6) quarterly discussion of the progress of the program and results for nursing staff; (7) pneumonia bundle documentation in the nursing documentation; and (8) computerized pneumonia-prevention order set in the physician order entry system.

Researchers performed a retrospective review of all inpatient pneumonia cases documented in the Veterans Administration National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VA NSQIP) database at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System from 2006 through 2007. Data was collected from April 2007 through 2008. To be scored as a ward-acquired pneumonia, patients had to be noncardiac surgical patients who had an inpatient admission to the surgical ward.

Pneumonia diagnosed on the surgical ward was found in 13 of 1,668 inpatient admissions in the pre-intervention time period, an incidence of 0.78 percent. In comparison, there were only three of 1,651 inpatient admissions with pneumonia diagnosed on the ward in the post intervention study period, an incidence of 0.18 percent. This result represents an 81 percent decrease in post-operative pneumonias from fiscal year 2006 as compared with 2008 and is highly statistically significant (95 percent confidence interval, 0.13-1.07, p=0.006).


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