The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2011 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

THE ADDITION OF AN AIRWAY CLEARANCE SPECIALIST IMPROVES PATIENTS OUTCOMES AND SATISFACTION

Ginger Browning, Ed Conway, Jamie Wooldridge; Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, OH

Introduction; Cincinnati Children’s Cystic Fibrosis inpatient team saw the need to create an Airway Clearance Specialist position. This position was created as a result of the respiratory therapist feeling our patients needed more education about the importance of airway clearance. The hiring of our Airway Clearance Specialist has allowed for more discussion of airway clearance during rounds, has allowed for patients to have more dedicated time for learning new airway clearance modalities, and has given patients and parents more support and a resources for airway clearance. Method; To evaluate the effectiveness of our Airway Clearance Specialist we looked at two measures. The first measure was change in FEV1 in patients a year out from hiring the Airway Clearance Specialist. We also did a patient/parent survey to demonstrate whether or not the patients and their families felt the role added support for them. FEV1 data was collected from 151 patients whom the Airway Clearance Specialist saw within the first year. A survey sent to our patients and families to determine if they felt having an Airway Clearance Specialist review their airway clearance technique twice a year was beneficial. Results; Our CF Center sees 200 patients, during the first year the Airway Clearance Specialist met with all patients and families twice. During these visits, 184 patients were introduced to a new modality of ACT and 16 patients reviewed their current ACT modality. FEV1 data was obtained on 151 patients during the first year. This data was compared to the year prior and the results showed 44% had an improvement or stayed the same with an average increase of 12%. The survey was sent out to all patients in or CF Center. Response to the survey showed 83% thought it was beneficial to have an Airway Clearance Specialist, 5% felt it was not beneficial and 12% were not sure. We also asked if they felt their knowledge of ACT improved since we hired our Airway Clearance Specialist, 73% thought their knowledge improved, 10% felt their knowledge didn’t improve, and 17% were not sure. Conclusion; We feel the addition of our Airway Clearance Specialist has significantly improved our centers goal of providing best practice in airway clearance. Patients and families feel that they now have a resource for airway clearance. Sponsored Research - None