The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2000 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

SUCCESS OF AN INTERDISCIPLINARY C.O.P.D. MANAGEMENT TEAM

Melissa W.Sloban, RRT, RCP, Theresa Powers, MSN, NP-C, Donn Wolfson, MD, FCCP; Parma Community General Hospital, Parma, Ohio

BACKGROUND: Using the Cleveland Health Quality Choice Index as a benchmark, it was determined that mortality and readmission rates for C.O.P.D. were higher than acceptable. Research revealed difficiencies in D.R.G. coding, patient knowledge and education. The C.O.P.D. Team core was established consisting of a Pulmonary Physician Champion, Nurse Practitioner, and Respiratory Care Practitioner. Secondary team members asked to participate were dietary, psychology and social service.
METHOD: Physician Champion communicated with medical staff addressing documentation necessary for proper coding. All patients admitted with C.O.P.D or related diagnosis were seen by the Nurse Practitioner, Respiratory Patient Educator, and Registered Dietitian. When indicated these professionals consulted with attending physicians and made changes in care plans. All patients were interviewed post discharge. There was a 100% review of all deaths
RESULTS after ONE YEAR: Mortality had decreased from 4% to 0.3%. Readmission rates had decreased from 15 to 5%. Overall length had decreased by 0.5 days. Patient education surveys demonstrated an increase in patient knowledge from 72% to 95%. All quality of life indicators demonstrated significant improvement.
CONCLUSION: Concentrated attention and commitment from hosptial administration down to the team members created the atmosphere required to succeed. Investment in a comparatively small number of staff hours dedicated to the project resulted in demonstrable improvements in patient care, outcomes, and a positive cash flow of $500,000 to the institution.

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