Hospital Acquired Pneumonia and Oral Care: Using Data to Change Practice and Improve Outcomes

Dian Baker, Katharine Martinez, Vicki Buchda, Kevin Earle
1 CEUs
$0 Course Price

Course Description:

NV-HAP is costly and preventable with significant impact on patient morbidity and mortality.1,2 While there are recent data showing decreases in many healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), recent publications highlight the understated but significant burden of non-ventilator hospital-acquired pneumonia (NV-HAP).3,4 Tracking of NV-HAP is not currently mandated for inpatient settings such as the majority of hospitals and long-term care settings, but prevention strategies would likely impact patient safety, health, and quality of life.5, 6 Currently, there are no consensus guidelines for the implementation of a NV-HAP prevention bundle. An international review of the literature found that most NV- HAP occurs outside of the hospital ICU, meaning that pneumonia occurs in patients who are not critically ill.7,8 For example, Kopp found that 47% of patients with spinal injury suffered sequelae of NV-HAP and were more likely to die, even 10 years after hospitalization.9 Hence, the potential for pneumonia acquisition in the inpatient or long-term care setting is high, and it may be prudent to implement a NV-HAP prevention bundle. The prevention of one pneumonia case would be significant in cost-avoidance and unnecessary patient suffering.

Learning Objectives:
  • Describe outcomes when patients get non-ventilator hospital-acquired pneumonia (NV-HAP)
  • Explain the pathophysiology of NV-HAP
  • Explain of maintaining a patient’s oral microbiome during acute care hospitalization
  • Define the role of an oral health educator in a hospital setting
  • Identify the complications that can arise with poor oral health in a hospital setting.
  • Express the importance of a bedside oral exam assessment to individualize oral care for each patient

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