Oral Care for Non-Ventilator Associated Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia Prophylaxis: Optimizing Clinical Outcomes and Organizational Effectiveness
Non-ventilator-associated hospital-acquired pneumonia (NV-HAP) is a largely preventable illness. Quality improvement efforts including prevention measures, such as oral care, are incorporated into most standard clinical workflows but may be performed in an inconsistent manner. Oral care can have a profound impact on rates of pneumonia when performed in a systematic manner for all hospitalized patients, regardless of “traditional” risk factors. Furthermore, oral care can be performed by patients themselves in many cases, thereby relieving frontline staff of this task. Introducing patient education for sustained oral care efforts postdischarge and encouraging healthy habits to aid in achievement of their recovery goals is essential. The prevention of even 100 cases of NV-HAP is associated with a cost savings of $400 million and a decrease of 700–900 hospital days.
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