Author Contributions: Drs Schuetz and Wolbers had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Study concept and design: Schuetz, Christ-Crain, Wolbers, Fricker, Hoess, Bucher, Zimmerli, Mueller.
Acquisition of data: Schuetz, Christ-Crain, Thomann, Falconnier, Widmer, Neidert, Blum, Schild, Regez, Henzen, Krause, Zimmerli, Mueller.
Analysis and interpretation of data: Schuetz, Wolbers, Fricker, Schoenenberger, Bregenzer, Bucher, Mueller.
Drafting of the manuscript: Schuetz, Wolbers, Mueller.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Christ-Crain, Thomann, Falconnier, Widmer, Neidert, Fricker, Blum, Schild, Regez, Schoenenberger, Henzen, Bregenzer, Hoess, Krause, Bucher, Zimmerli.
Statistical analysis: Schuetz, Wolbers.
Obtained funding: Christ-Crain, Schoenenberger, Bucher, Zimmerli, Mueller.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Schuetz, Schild, Regez.
Study supervision: Schoenenberger, Henzen, Bregenzer, Hoess, Krause, Zimmerli, Mueller.
Financial Disclosures: Drs Schuetz, Christ-Crain, and Mueller reported receiving support from BRAHMS Inc to attend meetings and fulfilling speaking engagements. Dr Mueller reported serving as a consultant and receiving research support from BRAHMS Inc. All other authors declared no financial disclosures.
Funding/Support: This work was supported in part by grant SNF 3200BO-116177/1 from the Swiss National Science Foundation and contributions from Santésuisse and the Gottfried and Julia Bangerter-Rhyner-Foundation, the University Hospital Basel, the Medical University Clinic Liestal, the Medical Clinic Buergerspital Solothurn, the Cantonal Hospitals Muensterlingen, Aarau, and Lucerne, respectively, the Swiss Society for Internal Medicine, and the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology, and Clinical Nutrition, University Hospital Basel. BRAHMS Inc, the major manufacturer of the procalcitonin assay, provided all assay-related material, Kryptor machines if not already available onsite, and kits and maintenance required for 10 000 measurements related to the study.
Role of the Sponsors: No commercial sponsors had any role in the design and conduct of the study; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data; or in the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.
The ProHOSP Study Group: Rita Bossart, RN, Sabine Meier, Pamela Spreiter, Claudia Baehni, Ayesha Chaudri, Fabian Mueller, Jeannine Haeuptle, Roya Zarbosky, Rico Fiumefreddo, Melanie Wieland, RN, Charly Nusbaumer, MD, Andres Christ, MD, Roland Bingisser, MD, Kristian Schneider, RN, Christine Vincenzi, RN, and Michael Kleinknecht, RN, from the University Hospital Basel; Brigitte Walz, PhD, and Verena Briner, MD, Kantonsspital Lucerne; Dieter Conen, MD, Andreas Huber, MD, and Jody Staehelin, MD, Kantonsspital Aarau; Chantal Bruehlhardt, RN, Kantonsspital Liestal; Ruth Luginbuehl, RN, and Agnes Muehlemann, RN, Buergerspital Solothurn, Ineke lambinon, and Max Zueger, MD, Kantonsspital Muensterlingen.
Additional Contributions: We thank our data and safety monitoring board, namely, Andre P. Perruchoud, MD (University Hospital Basel), Stephan Harbarth, MD, MS (University of Geneva Hospitals), and Andrea Azzola, MD (Hospital of Lugano), for continuous supervision of this trial and Florian Duerr (University Hospital Basel) for development and support of the Web site. We thank all local physicians, the nursing staff, and patients who participated in this study. We especially thank the staff of the emergency departments, medical clinics, and central laboratories of the University Hospital Basel, the Cantonal Hospitals Liestal, Aarau, Luzern, and Muensterlingen, and the “Buergerspital” Solothurn for their assistance, patience, and technical support. None of those listed received any financial compensation for their contributions.