According to the Center for Disease Control, COPD is a leading cause of death, illness, and disability in the United States. It can be caused by the use of tobacco, asthma, exposure to pollutants and/or respiratory infections. It is predicted to be the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States.
With this in mind, UPMC Visiting Nurses initiated a COPD program to manage patients with this chronic disease in their place of residence. With adequate education, medication management and multi-disciplinary care, COPD patients can be provided with appropriate and timely interventions to prevent exacerbation of the disease process and costly readmissions to the hospital.
The principle objectives of the COPD program are to:
- Detect signs of impending decompensation and provide appropriate intervention
- Reduce the number of unnecessary visits to the Emergency Department and costly readmissions to the hospital
- Improve the quality of life for patients with COPD by promoting self-management
- Improve compliance through education and increased understanding of disease process
- Promote communication between patient, physician and clinician