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Original article

Vol. 146 No. 3940 (2016)

Influence of hospital characteristics on quality of care in patients with community-acquired pneumonia

  • Katrin Straubhaar
  • Philipp Schuetz
  • Claudine Angela Blum
  • Nicole Nigro
  • Briel Matthias
  • Matthias Briel
  • Mirjam Christ-Crain
  • Beat Mueller
  • STEP study group
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2016;146:w14337


PRINCIPLES: In-hospital care of patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) varies across hospitals. Understanding of the underlying factors is the basis for tailored quality improvements. Using data from a randomised controlled Swiss-wide multicentre trial, we compared length of stay (LOS) and other patient outcomes according to (A) the use of a procalcitonin (PCT)-based antibiotic stewardship protocol, (B) institution type (university vs non-university), and (C) historical time period in relation to the introduction of Diagnosis Related Group (DRG) reimbursement (2012).

METHODS: We included 784 patients hospitalised with CAP from six institutions into this secondary analysis. We used multivariable regression models adjusted for age, comorbidities and disease severity to determine the influence of institution characteristics on LOS and patient outcomes.

FINDINGS: LOS was significantly shorter in the institution using a PCT-based antibiotic stewardship protocol (9.2 vs 5.3 days; adjusted mean difference 3.92 days; 95% confidence interval [CI] 5.16–2.68) with shorter antibiotic treatment. There was no difference in LOS in university vs non-university hospitals, but antibiotic courses in university-type hospitals were longer (11.0 vs 8.3 days; adjusted mean difference 2.59 days; 95% CI, 1.69–3.49). No significant difference in LOS was found when comparing the time period before and after the introduction of the DRG system in Switzerland.

CONCLUSIONS: We found differences in LOS associated with theuse of a PCT-based antibiotic stewardship protocol, which remained robust after multivariable adjustment. Importantly, the type of institution and model of reimbursement did not influence LOS in our CAP cohort. More health services research studies are needed to establish causal effects.


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