NEW COPD Quick Reference Tool
New COPD Pocket Guide
The sooner patients are identified as having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the better. So why not provide practitioners with a quick and easy tool to recognize these individuals at admission? That was the thought of Gwendolen Buhr, MD, MEd, CMD, and past Society President, Naushira Pandya MD, CMD, and their colleagues on the Society’s Clinical Practice Committee, which resulted in the development of the COPD Management Pocket Guide. This tool provides a quick reference to the recognition, assessment, treatment, and monitoring of COPD, with information adapted from the GOLD initiative for the condition and the Society’s clinical practice guideline (CPG). The guide also includes an Algorithm for Pharmacological Treatment of COPD. “We hope this will raise awareness at admission that patients might have COPD. If these individuals get proper treatment early on, they have better functioning and quality of life,” says Dr. Buhr.
The Society CPG on COPD was recently updated, and the pocket guide was adopted in great part from that document. “We’ve received feedback from Society members and others that while the CPGs are great tools, they can, in certain situations, be too long and detailed. So we developed the pocket guide as a quick, reliable evidence-based resource,” Dr. Buhr explains.
The use of such guides fit perfectly into the new paradigm of value-based medicine and care that balances outcomes and costs. For example, the treatment algorithm includes a table of medications and their costs so that prescribers can choose the best drug with the lowest cost. “It is important to create a facility-wide culture of evidence-based treatment,” says Dr. Buhr. She adds that it is key for the medical director to be on board and committed to educating staff and supporting efforts to ensure quality care for conditions such as COPD. “An educated, knowledgeable team infuses more into the facility’s culture. As people use these tools, quality and positive outcomes are self-perpetuating.” At the same time, she observes, “If we give practitioners and staff the tools they need to provide quality care and monitor outcomes, we are more likely to prevent acute changes and keep people out of the hospital.”
Dr. Buhr is more than willing to take time away from her busy schedule to work on projects such as this. “The Society is the only national organization that supports post-acute and long-term care practitioners and shares our passion for and commitment to this population. More than ever, we need a community of practitioners to support each other.” She looks forward to seeing her colleagues and friends at the Annual Conference in Phoenix.