Pneumonia calculator for PDAs

Author: Carrie Morantz, Brian Torrey
Date: April 1, 2004

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has created a clinical decision-support tool for personal digital assistants (PDAs) designed to help physicians quickly determine whether patients with community-acquired pneumonia should be treated at home or in a hospital. The "Pneumonia Severity Index Calculator" can be downloaded from the AHRQ Web site at The calculator is available in Palm OS, Pocket PC, and HTML formats.

Community-acquired pneumonia contracted outside a hospital or nursing home affects approximately 4 million Americans and costs approximately $10 billion annually to treat. Most of those costs (92 percent) are spent treating patients who have been hospitalized for care.

The calculator is based on a clinical algorithm produced in 1997 by the AHRQ-funded Pneumonia Patient Outcomes Research Team (PORT). The Pneumonia PORT developed and tested the algorithm to help physicians make treatment decisions. The algorithm has been validated in a broad, randomized controlled trial and was shown to be safe, cost-effective, and to improve satisfaction by enabling patients to be treated at home rather than in the hospital when appropriate. A sizable number of low-risk patients can be treated safely on an outpatient basis, but these patients must be accurately identified before such treatment is recommended.

COPYRIGHT 2004 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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