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Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease breathe easier with new program

April 5, 2016 – An innovative outreach program at The Ottawa Hospital reduced the 30-day Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) -related readmission rate by 70 percent in the its first ten months.

Today, representatives from the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) and Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd joined The Ottawa Hospital to recognize the accomplishments of the hospital’s COPD Outreach Program.

The Outreach Program enrols patients admitted to The Ottawa Hospital with an acute exacerbation of COPD from Respirology, Medicine and Family Medicine Services. Patients with COPD have a high rate of readmission to hospital within 30 days of discharge following an acute exacerbation of COPD, and the cost of treating these patients is higher than any other disease.

In September 2015, The Ottawa Hospital completed a successful pan-Canadian COPD quality improvement initiative – INSPIRED Approaches to COPD: Improving Care and Creating Value Collaborative – in collaboration with 18 other teams across Canada, the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement and Boehringer Ingelheim.

“We’re excited by the program’s success to date,” said Dr. Jack Kitts, President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital. “The hospital COPD Outreach Program has greatly improved patients’ experience by providing support and preventing patients from returning to the hospital.”

In the first ten months of the program, the hospital was able to reduce the 30-day COPD-related readmission rate for patients enrolled in the program by 70 percent. This earned the program a spot on the Honour Roll for the Minister’s Medal for Healthcare Improvement in 2015.

“The INSPIRED program has tested the transferability and scalability of a novel approach to the care of patients with COPD. It is extremely gratifying to see such positive outcomes from the program since its implementation, and we look forward to continuing our partnership to find new ways of continuing to achieve these outcomes,” said Richard Mole, President and CEO, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.

The COPD Outreach Program is a patient-centred collaborative model that actively engages and empowers patients and families in their health-care decisions. To date, 112 patients have been enrolled in the program.

Patients in the program receive education on COPD self-management, including a written action plan and letter to their primary care provider, as well as referrals to pulmonary rehabilitation, lung maintenance, smoking-cessation programs or palliative care for advanced care planning. The program also provides a home visit and post-discharge phone calls, and support is available to patients through a telephone information line.

“The INSPIRED COPD Outreach Program is an example of a patient- and family-centred innovation that also improves value-for-money. The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement is pleased to help health-care organizations across Canada, including The Ottawa Hospital, implement this model. Spreading innovation is possible – and this experience shows it,” said Maureen O’Neil, O.C., President of the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement.

For more information, please contact:

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The Ottawa Hospital

The Ottawa Hospital is one of Canada’s largest learning and research hospitals, with more than 1,100 beds, approximately 12,000 staff members and an annual budget of about $1.2 billion.

Our focus on learning and research helps us develop new and innovative ways to treat patients and improve care. As a multi-campus hospital affiliated with the University of Ottawa, we deliver specialized care to the Eastern Ontario region, but our techniques and research discoveries are adopted around the world. We engage the community at all levels to support our vision for better patient care.

From the compassion of our people to the relentless pursuit of new discoveries, The Ottawa Hospital never stops seeking solutions to the most complex health-care challenges.

The Ottawa Hospital

INSPIRED Approaches to COPD: Improving Care and Creating Value Collaborative

In the fall of 2014, the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) announced a pledge of nearly $1 million to teams from healthcare organizations in all 10 provinces to transform care for people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and support their caregivers. Nineteen teams from across Canada participated in the INSPIRED Approaches to COPD: Improving Care and Creating Value collaborative, receiving $50,000 in seed funding, tailored curriculum, and expert faculty support, to adapt and implement an approach that reduced by 60 percent emergency room visits, hospital admissions and days in hospital among participating COPD patients at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.