Oral Care for Non-Ventilator Associated Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia Prophylaxis: Optimizing Clinical Outcomes and Organizational Effectiveness


  • Olivia Lounsbury Patient Safety Movement Foundation
  • Shannon Munro, PhD, APRN U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs




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.

Author Biographies

Olivia Lounsbury, Patient Safety Movement Foundation

Olivia Lounsbury (olivia.lounsbury@patientsafetymovement.org) is a clinical research coordinator for the Patient Safety Movement Foundation.

Shannon Munro, PhD, APRN, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Dr. Shannon Munro is an advanced practice nurse and the national implementation lead for HAPPEN (Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia Prevention by Engaging Nurses) for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Diffusion of Excellence Initiative.


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half of cartoon man's head with mouth open and little germs with boxing gloves on



How to Cite

Lounsbury, O., & Munro, S. (2020). Oral Care for Non-Ventilator Associated Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia Prophylaxis: Optimizing Clinical Outcomes and Organizational Effectiveness. Patient Safety, 2(4), 78–81. https://doi.org/10.33940/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs



Patient Safety Initiatives
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