Article Abstract

Discordance of physician clinical judgment vs. pneumonia severity index (PSI) score to admit patients with low risk community-acquired pneumonia: a prospective multicenter study

Authors: Pedro J. Marcos, Marcos I. Restrepo, Francisco J. González-Barcala, Nilam J. Soni, Iria Vidal, Pilar Sanjuàn, Diego Llinares, Lucía Ferreira-Gonzalez, Carlos Rábade, Isabel Otero-González, Pedro Marcos, Héctor Verea-Hernando


Background: The relationship between clinical judgment and the pneumonia severity index (PSI) score in deciding the site of care for patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) has not been well investigated. The objective of the study was to determine the clinical factors that influence decision-making to hospitalize low-risk patients (PSI ≤2) with CAP.
Methods: An observational, prospective, multicenter study of consecutive CAP patients was performed at five hospitals in Spain. Patients admitted with CAP and a PSI ≤2 were identified. Admitting physicians completed a patient-specific survey to identify the clinical factors influencing the decision to admit a patient. The reason for admission was categorized into 1 of 6 categories. We also assessed whether the reason for admission was associated with poorer clinical outcomes [intensive care unit (ICU) admission, 30-day mortality or readmission].
Results: One hundred and fifty-five hospitalized patients were enrolled. Two or more reasons for admission were seen in 94 patients (60.6%), including abnormal clinical test results (60%), signs of clinical deterioration (43.2%), comorbid conditions (28.4%), psychosocial factors (28.4%), suspected H1N1 pneumonia (20.6%), and recent visit to the emergency department (ED) in the past 2 weeks (7.7%). Signs of clinical deterioration and abnormal clinical test results were associated with poorer clinical outcomes (P<0.005).
Conclusions: Low-risk patients with CAP and a PSI ≤2 are admitted to the hospital for multiple reasons. Abnormal clinical test results and signs of clinical deterioration are two specific reasons for admission that are associated with poorer clinical outcomes in low risk CAP patients.