The COPD Clinical Pathway: Helping You and Your Patients Manage COPD

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The COPD Clinical Pathway: Helping You and Your Patients Manage COPD

20-Sep-2017

A collaboration among family physicians, internists and respirologists with the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR) and the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), health care providers and patients will now have more tools and information to deal with COPD efficiently and effectively.

Did you know that COPD:
 
    1. Affects more than 200 million people worldwide
    2. Is now the third leading cause of death globally
    3. Is the most common chronic medical condition leading to hospitalization in adults yet it is still underdiagnosed
 
You probably also know that spirometry testing is essential for diagnosis, yet the literature shows that it is significantly underutilized and that smoking is one of the largest factors leading to this disease yet 17-21 per cent of the Canadian population is still smoking.
 
Thanks to collaboration among family physicians, internists and respirologists with the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR) and the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), health care providers and patients will now have more tools and information to deal with COPD efficiently and effectively. A COPD Clinical Pathway is being launched in September for practitioners to use. Following that, a series of sharing sessions will be conducted to assist practitioners in understanding the pathway and becoming confident in using it to treat and manage patients.
 
The Pathway consists of six sections. The first section is Prevention and is focused on smoking cessation because smoking cessation is a critical component of COPD management at all stages of the disease.
 
Below are three easy actions that all health care providers can use and that should be part of every patient visit:
 
    1. VBI (see image below) - Ask whether your patient smokes and advise them to quit. Then, act on their wishes to do so.
    2. Refer them to COPD Rehab, or Live Well programs for peer educational support and peer exercise programs respectively, and
    3. Refer to a PACT Trained Pharmacist for smoking cessation counselling, where appropriate.

Very Brief Intervention (VBI)

We encourage all health care practitioners practicing with the RQHR to come out to one of the COPD Pathway information sessions. Additionally, members of the COPD team will be doing regular presentations at the Department of Family Medicine meetings over the next number of months. We hope to see you there.
 
If at any time, you would like information on the COPD pathway and how you can use it to manage this disease with your patients, please contact Dr. Rashaad Hansia, Dr Fouche Williams or the Department of Family Medicine.
 
PS...Stay tuned to October's edition if The Physician for Section 2 - Targeted Screening.

Submitted by: Dr. R. Hansia, Physician Dyad Leader, Primary Health Care - Urban