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Case Study


St. Luke's Medical Center: Bottom-Up Approach to Quality Improvement in Pneumonia Care

St. Luke's Medical Center has made significant improvements in its performance on the pneumonia care core measures over the last five years. The core measures, developed by the Hospital Quality Alliance, relate to achievement of recommended treatment in four clinical areas: heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care. St. Luke's, which was once achieving as low as 30 percent to 50 percent compliance with the pneumonia care core measures, now performs well above state and national averages. It also performs above the 90th percentile on other core measures.

This study was based on publicly available information and self-reported data provided by the case study institution(s). The aim of Commonwealth Fund–sponsored case studies of this type is to identify institutions that have achieved results indicating high performance in a particular area of interest, have undertaken innovations designed to reach higher performance, or exemplify attributes that can foster high performance. The studies are intended to enable other institutions to draw lessons from the studied institutions' experience that will be helpful in their own efforts to become high performers. Even the best-performing organizations may fall short in some areas or make mistakes—emphasizing the need for systematic approaches to improve quality and prevent harm to patients and staff. The Commonwealth Fund is not an accreditor of health care organizations or systems, and the inclusion of an institution in the Fund's case study series is not an endorsement by the Fund for receipt of health care from the institution.

Publication Details



A. Lashbrook, St. Luke’s Medical Center: Bottom-Up Approach to Quality Improvement in Pneumonia Care, The Comonwealth Fund, December 2009.