Blood Cultures Before Antibiotics
The Joint Commission in conjunction with the Hospitals Quality Alliance (HQA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), recommend performing blood cultures for individuals with pneumonia before the administration of any antibiotics.
Different types of bacteria can cause pneumonia. A blood culture is the preferred test to help your health care provider identify which type may have caused your pneumonia, and which antibiotic should be prescribed. For patients who are first seen in the hospital emergency department, it is important for the blood culture to be conducted before any antibiotics are started.
The most recent report (4th Qtr., 2014) shows 91% of eligible UAMS pneumonia patients received a timely blood culture before antibiotics were administered in the emergency room compared with the national average of 98% and the University Health system Consortium average of 97%.