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What are Pneumonia Core Measures and why do Nurses Need to Know?

Higher Education Articles October 30, 2013

The term “pneumonia core measures” refers to a treatment protocol used to treat patients who are diagnosed with pneumonia. Healthcare industry experts prescribe this particular protocol because it has been shown to improve patient outcomes, so it is important for all nurses to learn about each aspect of the core measures and implement them when dealing with pneumonia patients. Each component of the pneumonia core measures is described below.

Blood Cultures before Treatment

Under the pneumonia core measures, healthcare professionals should obtain blood cultures before administering an antibiotic to a patient with pneumonia. These cultures should be taken before the patient arrives or within 24 hours after admission to the hospital. The purpose of this measure is to determine the type of bacteria causing the infection, thus allowing for more effective treatment.

Antibiotic Administration

The core measures indicate that a patient with pneumonia should receive antibiotics within 6 hours of admission to the hospital whenever possible, unless the patient is allergic or sensitive to the antibiotics used to treat pneumonia or is waiting for the results of a blood culture. If a patient does receive antibiotic treatment, nurses must document the dosage and time of administration.

Vaccinations

Patients should be vaccinated for pneumonia if possible after being admitted to the hospital, unless there is documentation of the patient’s refusal to accept the vaccine, or proof that the patient had received the vaccine in the past or documentation of a sensitivity or allergy to the pneumonia vaccine. Patients are also exempt from this requirement if their medical history shows a contraindication, such as radiation therapy or a bone marrow transplant within the last year.

If a patient is admitted during influenza season, which runs from October to February, he or she should also receive a flu vaccine if possible. As with the pneumonia vaccine, patients are exempt from this requirement. If they have already received the vaccine in the current season, refuse the vaccine or have a contraindication, such as a compromised immune system or a documented allergy to the vaccine.

Counseling for Smokers

Patients admitted to the hospital of pneumonia may experience complications because of a history of smoking. Patients who admit to smoking at the time of admission should be offered cessation counseling before leaving the hospital.

Although all members of the healthcare team are responsible for abiding by the pneumonia core measures when treating patients who have received a pneumonia diagnosis, nurses are often responsible for documenting a patient’s treatment history. For this reason, it is essential that nurses understand the pneumonia core measures so that they can maintain accurate records. Nurses who are involved in creating patient treatment plans can also use their knowledge of the core measures to improve outcomes and ensure that all patients receive the highest standard of care.

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5 Program(s) Found
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  • GCU offers a variety of opportunities to reduce the cost of furthering your education. Campus students may qualify for scholarships, while online students can take part in limited special offers.
  • A regionally accredited university, GCU also holds specialized accreditations and approvals for some of our core program offerings.
  • Degrees in business, education, nursing, humanities and social sciences, theology and more. Find the degree that fits you.
  • Talk to us today to learn more about financial aid and start dates!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • BSN completion program for Registered Nurses is available entirely online.
  • The RN to BSN program is designed to help students advance their career, or prepare for post-graduate opportunities.
  • Courses teach modern health assessment and treatment methods, how to evaluate potential disease or injury, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your degree online from Ashford University!
  • Choose from Undergraduate and Graduate classes
  • Business, Health Care, Psychology and Liberal Arts programs to choose from
  • Apply Now! Classes begin every Tuesday!
  • Online Courses
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  • Transferable Credits
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  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid

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