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Documentation and Evaluation of Fevers in Hospital-Based and Community-Based Nursing Homes

  • Timothy R. Franson (a1), Jeffrey M. Schicker (a2), Susan M. LeClair (a2), Raymond G. Hoffmann (a3) and Edmund H. Duthie (a2)...

Abstract

Abstract

We reviewed clinical evaluation practices and documentation of fever (>100.2°F) in all febrile patients over a two-month period in a hospital-based nursing home (HBNH) compared with a community-based nursing home (CBNH). Results showed 38 febrile (mean 101.9°F) HBNH patients and 26 febrile (mean 101.5°F) CBNH patients. Median time from fever onset to physician contact was 4 hours in HBNH and 12.5 hours in CBNH episodes (P<0.01). Laboratory studies were initially performed in 68% of HBNH and 31% of CBNH episodes (P<0.005), and diagnosis of fever source was documented in 76% of HBNH and 16% of CBNH episodes (P<0.005). Overall assessment stratification showed 81% febrile HBNH patients had both evaluation and therapy performed compared with 38% in CBNH (P<0.0001); 39% of febrile CBNH patients had no evaluation or therapy performed. Results indicate lack of documentation, and fever evaluation in CBNHs may preclude complete detection of nursing home-acquired infections and thereby hamper preventive responses to potential infection problems.

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Medical Service/11 I P, VA Medical Center, 5000 W.National Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53295

References

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