Improving Care for Critically Ill Patients with Community-Acquired Pneumonia

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

American journal of health-system pharmacy


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to improve antimicrobial management and outcomes of critically ill patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) through implementation of a pharmacist-driven bundle for ordering evidence-based diagnostic tests in a medical intensive care unit (MICU).

METHODS: An inpatient collaborative practice agreement (CPA) was established for MICU pharmacists to order criteria-driven diagnostic testing for CAP from November 2017-March 2018. Adults admitted to the MICU and started on empiric antibiotics for CAP were included. The intervention arm was compared with a standard of care (SOC) group from November 2016-March 2017.

RESULTS: Ninety-one patients were included in each group. There was no difference in the median antibiotic duration between SOC and CPA, at 7 days (interquartile range [IQR], 6-10) versus 7 days (IQR, 6-8), respectively. The overall use of evidence-based diagnostic tests increased in the CPA group. Patients in the CPA group had more frequent pathogen identification (SOC and CPA, respectively: 31 [34%] versus 46 [51%], p = 0.035) and antimicrobial deescalation (24 [26%] versus 53 [58%], p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in length of intensive care unit stay, at 4 days for SOC (IQR, 2-10) versus 6 days for CPA (IQR, 3-10), and no significant difference in inpatient all-cause mortality (13 [14%] versus 7 [8%]), retreatment 14 [15%] versus 11 [12%]), or 30-day readmission 16 ([18%] versus 13 [14%]) for SOC and CPA, respectively. The CPA was the only variable that was independently associated with antimicrobial deescalation (odds ratio, 4.030; 95% confidence interval, 2.101-7.731) in a multiple logistic regression.

CONCLUSION: Implementation of a pharmacy-driven pneumonia diagnostic stewardship bundle improved the use of evidence-based diagnostics and increased the frequency of pathogen identification. This intervention was associated with increased antimicrobial deescalation without a negative impact on patient safety outcomes.

PubMed ID






First Page


Last Page