The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released a computerized index of pneumonia symptoms, exam findings and patient histories that can help physicians determine if a patient should be hospitalized or treated at home. An interactive computer program, called the Pneumonia Severity Index Calculator, can be downloaded for free onto a personal digital assistant from the AHRQ Web site at http://pda.ahrq.gov. A 2002 AHRQ-funded study found that the decision-support tool reduced by up to 18% the number of low-risk pneumonia patients who were hospitalized, saving $457 to $994 per patient without diminishing quality of care. -- by John Morrissey
AHRQ issues pneumonia decision-support tool
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