The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2001 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

The effect of pulmonary rehabilitation on the number of patient visits and hospital admissions

Wayne Wallace BA,RRT, Wes Cowan, BS, RRT, Peter Wang, BS, RRT, Jerry Lisieki, RRT, RPFT,&Thomas Mahrer MD Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles MedicalCenter, Los Angeles, CA

BACKGROUND: Patientsexperiencing chronic lung disease place a great strain on the health care system.In order to mitigate the deleterious effects of over utilization, pulmonaryrehabilitation programs have been established. These programs emphasize educationand exercise to decrease pulmonary patients? underlying debilitation. However,does pulmonary rehabilitation reduce the number of out patient visits and hospitaladmissions relating to lung disease?

Methods: 27 consecutivepatients suffering from chronic lung diseases were enrolled in the pulmonaryrehabilitation program. The program consists of 3 sessions a week for 6 consecutiveweeks. The patients participate in a progressive exercise program followed bya mini-lecture of interest to chronic pulmonary patients. The number of outpatientvisits, emergency department visits, and hospital admissions that were relatedto lung disease were tabulated for a year before and after enrollment in thepulmonary rehabilitation program.

Results: Theresults are summarized in the following table. A paired student?s T-test forthe total number of visits was significant at p=0.0002. The mean numberof visits dropped from 2.59 visits patient per patient prior to enrollment inthe pulmonary rehabilitation program to 1.33 visits per patient after participatingin pulmonary rehabilitation.

Utilizationof Services    
Total 70360.0002

EXPERIENCE:A well-designed pulmonary rehabilitation reduces chronic lung disease patient?sutilization of the physician clinic.

Conclusions:There was a reduction in physician clinic utilization. However, there was noreduction in the overall numbers of hospital admissions or visits to the emergencydepartment.



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