Journal Article

The HCAP Gap: Differences between Self-Reported Practice Patterns and Published Guidelines for Health Care-Associated Pneumonia

Gregory B. Seymann, Lorenzo Di Francesco, Bradley Sharpe, Jeffrey Rohde, Peter Fedullo, Aaron Schneir, Christopher Fee, Kevin M. Chan, Pedram Fatehi and Thuy-Tien Dam

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 49, issue 12, pages 1868-1874
Published in print December 2009 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 2009 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/648429
The HCAP Gap: Differences between Self-Reported Practice Patterns and Published Guidelines for Health Care-Associated Pneumonia

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Background.Health care-associated pneumonia (HCAP) is prevalent among hospitalized patients. In contrast to community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), patients with HCAP are at increased risk for multidrug-resistant organisms, and appropriate initial antibiotic therapy is associated with reduced mortality.

Methods.An online survey was distributed to faculty and housestaff at 4 academic medical centers. The survey required respondents to choose initial antibiotic therapy for 9 hypothetical pneumonia cases (7 cases of HCAP and 2 cases of CAP). Answers were considered correct if the antibiotic regimen chosen was consistent with published guidelines. In addition, physicians rated their knowledge of current guidelines, as well as their level of agreement with guideline recommendations.

Results.Surveys were sent to 1313 physicians with a response rate of 65% (n=855). Respondents included physicians in the following categories: hospital medicine/internal medicine, 60%; emergency medicine, 25%; and critical care, 13%. Respondents selected guideline-concordant antibiotic regimens 78% of the time for CAP, but only 9% of the time for HCAP. Because mean scores for HCAP questions were extremely low (mean, 0.63 correct answers out of 7), differences in performance between groups were too small to be meaningful. Despite their poor performance, 71% of the respondents stated that they are aware of published guidelines for HCAP, and 79% stated that they agree with and practice according to the guidelines.

Conclusions.In this survey, physicians reported they were aware of, agreed with, and practiced according to published pneumonia guidelines; however, the overwhelming majority did not choose guideline-concordant therapy when tested.

Journal Article.  3571 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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