Reducing inpatient hospital acquired pneumonia (HAP) using a structured oral care program
Holibaugh, Adam Russell
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Hospital acquired pneumonia (HAP) causes significant mortality and morbidity and is now no longer reimbursed by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). For all of these reasons, hospitals want to minimize their HAP rates. Aggressive oral care (tooth brushing 3 times a day) has been shown to reduce the incidence of HAP in the intensive care unit setting, but this has not been tested in the acute care setting, in which patients are more stable, less sick, and more ambulatory. In an attempt to address HAP rates in acute care settings, this clinical trial entailed providing all patients in four wards with a 3 times per day tooth-brushing oral care protocol, which was implemented or supervised by the nurses on each ward. Six matched wards on a separate campus that received normal standard of care served as controls. The goal of this clinical trial was to cut the pneumonia rate in half, from 2% to 1%. This clinical trial was conducted to determine whether an oral care regimen would reduce the incidence of aspiration pneumonia over the three months of intervention in the experimental group (HAC) versus the control group (ENC) from Nov 5, 2012 to Feb 15, 2013.
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