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Quality Measures For Pneumonia

Team approach To Medical Care

Pneumonia is a lung infection with symptoms such as coughing, fever, and difficulty breathing. Patients with severe pneumonia, and pneumonia in patients who are elderly, have weak immune systems or other diseases, may require hospitalization.

Experts at Highland Hospital use a team approach in caring for patients with pneumonia. This includes board-certified or board-eligible specialists in lung problems (pulmonologists), critical care, and infectious diseases. Nurses, respiratory therapists and support staff, who are specially trained to care for the most complicated, critically ill patients, are also a key part of the care team.

Pneumonia is especially dangerous in the elderly. Elderly patients with pneumonia can present with atypical symptoms, leading to difficulties in diagnosis. In addition, because elderly patients often have multiple co-existing disorders and require different treatment protocols than younger adults, the management of these patients is rarely straightforward. Highland Hospital weaves a concern for geriatric issues into virtually all of our medical specialties. We also have more board-certified geriatricians on staff than all other area hospitals combined and a specialized Acute Care for Elders Unit, the only resource of its kind in the region. Finally, our Direct Admit Process simplifies admission to Highland Hospital for patients arriving from nursing homes or assisted-living facilities.

Patients with severe pneumonia may be cared for in an Intensive Care Unit. Highland’s state-of-the-art Intensive Care Unit is staffed by physicians and nurses who specialize in caring for critically ill adults. Pulmonologists and respiratory therapists are closely inter-related with the intensive care medicine team. The intensive care unit nursing team has received The Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence, given by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).