Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First real-time, electronic tool to enhance diagnosis of pneumonia

Date:
March 18, 2013
Source:
Intermountain Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers have developed and implemented the first real-time electronic screening tool to identify patients with pneumonia to speed up diagnosis and treatment and improve outcomes.

Researchers at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City have developed and implemented the first real-time electronic screening tool to identify patients with pneumonia to speed up diagnosis and treatment and improve outcomes.

Pneumonia is the most common infectious cause of death in developed countries. It kills more than 60,000 Americans each year, and results in nearly 1.1 million hospitalizations.

The new tool works seamlessly with the hospital's computerized medical screening and diagnosis technology that physicians are already using at Intermountain Healthcare. It monitors patient data, extracts relevant clinical features, calculates patient pneumonia probability and then alerts caregivers when patients are likely to have pneumonia.

A study of the development and initial test of the new electronic tool is published in the March 18 issue of the JAMA Internal Medicine.

The development of this tool is important because diagnosing pneumonia can be problematic for emergency room physicians due to the many factors -- nearly 40 -- involved in making a diagnosis.

"Our goal is to have the tool standardize what we do to ensure that we are all doing the same things consistently for all patients," says Caroline Vines, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Intermountain Medical Center and co-investigator. "The best thing about the tool is that it's easy to use and reminds you to order the appropriate tests and proper antibiotics for the patient."

The electronic tool was developed by a multi-disciplinary team for use in the emergency departments at four Intermountain Healthcare hospitals in the Salt Lake Valley: Intermountain Medical Center, LDS Hospital, Alta View Hospital, and Riverton Hospital. These are the busiest emergency departments in the state of Utah.

Data used to program the tool was based on experience and information from 48,449 patients, 2,413 of which had been diagnosed with pneumonia. Researchers found that the tool correctly alerted physicians in half of the cases in which patients had pneumonia.

"The tool provides a way of more quickly and accurately identifying pneumonia patients in the emergency department, which alerts doctors to use the second part of the tool that provides guidance for treatment," said Nathan Dean, MD, section chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Intermountain Medical Center, professor of medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine and lead author of the study.

"We hope that through earlier, and perhaps more accurate, diagnosis of pneumonia patients, along with alerting and guiding physicians to use the treatment guidance tool, patient outcomes will be improved," he said.

The tool analyzes over 40 variables, including vital signs, lab results, chest x-ray reports, nurse examination findings, and the patient's primary symptom, to determine the probability of a patient having pneumonia. The data is calculated and then displayed on computer screens in the emergency department. If it measures a 40 percent or greater likelihood that a patient has pneumonia, the physician is alerted and the patient data reviewed to determine whether the patient indeed has the infection.

"Aspects of pneumonia care are fairly sophisticated, and this helps us gather the data needed to support a more accurate and timely diagnosis," said Dr. Dean. "The tool exceeds human ability to process information."

Doctors have been using the screening tool since May 2011 at the four emergency departments. Although the tool is now being used, it will undergo further development to improve performance. It also is being evaluated to learn how it impacts physician treatment protocols and patient recovery.

"We're studying if the tool helps physicians and we'll have future results on how it impacts physician workflow and clinical outcomes," Dr. Dean said.

"We hope that the decision support tool helps physicians make more consistent decisions about who should be admitted to the hospital versus being treated as an outpatient, and who requires admission to the ICU. Ultimately, we hope the tool helps reduce the number of deaths caused by pneumonia."

Other researchers that participated in the creation and studies of the tool were Jeffrey Ferraro, MD; Barbara Jones, MD; and Peter Haug, MD. It was developed in collaboration with the Intermountain Homer Warner Center for Informatics Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Intermountain Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dean NC, Jones BE, Ferraro JP, Vines CG, Haug PJ. Performance and Utilization of an Emergency Department Electronic Screening Tool for Pneumonia. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.3299

Cite This Page:

Intermountain Medical Center. "First real-time, electronic tool to enhance diagnosis of pneumonia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130318180415.htm>.
Intermountain Medical Center. (2013, March 18). First real-time, electronic tool to enhance diagnosis of pneumonia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130318180415.htm
Intermountain Medical Center. "First real-time, electronic tool to enhance diagnosis of pneumonia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130318180415.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) The World Health Organizations says TB numbers rose in 2013, but it's partly due to better detection and more survivors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins