Study Says Non-Ventilator Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia On Same Level as VAP


In the first study of its kind, Barbara Quinn RN, MSN, CNS, a clinical nurse specialist at Sutter General Hospital and her dedicated team at Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento, Calif., sought to identify the incidence of NV-HAP and determine the effectiveness of basic oral nursing care to reduce risk factors for NV-HAP.

The results were published in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship.(1) The study, “Basic Nursing Care to Prevent Nonventilator Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia,” states, in part: “Nurses need clear protocols, correct equipment, resources for patient education, a team approach and administrative support to fully implement basic nursing care required to prevent HAP. NV-HAP needs to be elevated to the same level of concern, attention and effort as prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia in hospitals.”

The study(1) found a substantial amount of unreported NV-HAP. After oral care protocols were initiated, the rate of NV-HAP per 100 patient days decreased from 0.49 to 0.3 (38.8 percent). The overall number of cases of NV-HAP was reduced by 37 percent during the 12-month intervention period. The avoidance of NV-HAP cases resulted in an estimated 8 lives saved, $1.72 million cost avoided, and 500 extra hospital days averted. The extra cost for therapeutic oral care equipment was $117,600 during the 12-month intervention period. Cost savings resulting from avoided NV-HAP was $1.72 million and the return on investment for the organization was $1.6 million in avoided costs. The study concluded that healthcare organizations should be aware of NV-HAP as another important source of hospital-acquired infection (HAI) that can be reduced.

U.S. hospitals are required to monitor ventilated patients who contract pneumonia but are not required to monitor non-ventilated patients, making NV-HAP an underreported and unstudied disease. Reducing NV-HAP has the potential for measurable outcomes, fiscal savings, and improving quality of life. 

“Barbara’s team has shown that when facilities expand the focus of their pneumonia prevention efforts beyond the ICU, they can achieve amazing results,” says Tim Sterzik, oral care brand manager for Sage Products. “It’s especially relevant news because the majority of hospital-acquired pneumonia happens to patients who aren’t on ventilators,” he adds.(2)

1. Quinn B. et al., Basic Nursing Care to Prevent Nonventilator Hospital-Acquired Pneumnoia, Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 2014;46:1,11-19.

2. Davis, J. The Breadth of Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia: Nonventilated versus Ventilated Patients in Pennsylvania. PA Patient Saf. Advis. 2012, Sept;9(3):99-105.

Source: Sage Products LLC

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