Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis.

COPD affects an estimated 24 million individuals in the U.S., and over half of them have symptoms of COPD and do not know it. The COPD Foundation’s PRAXIS is a new initiative for healthcare providers, health systems administrators and policy makers created to improve COPD care across the continuum and reduce preventable hospital readmissions. The mission of the COPD Foundation’s PRAXIS is to Prevent and Reduce COPD Admissions through eXpertise and Innovation Sharing. The initiative aims to reduce the heavy burden of COPD exacerbations and hospital readmissions currently weighing on patients, families and providers through alignment with CMS Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) goals and the sharing of expertise and resources in ways which enable the proactive identification and elimination of gaps in COPD care.

The Cone Health System (Greensboro, NC) developed a method to improving outcomes for their COPD Patients. During the two-year study, their “Golden Card” COPD patient care plans were provided through a systemic quality improvement approach. Through the use of standardized protocols, the multidisciplinary team developed order sets, staff and patient education collaterals, patient empowerment, community partnerships, psycho-social support systems and timely follow up with physicians. In 2013, the Cone average COPD readmission rate was 87%. In 2015, their rate was reduced to 36%, representing an overall reduction of 70%.


This month’s core value is INNOVATION. Let’s partner with our clients to optimize our COPD programs and reduce the risk of hospitalizations:



Top 10 Skilled Therapy Interventions for COPD:

  1. Monitoring patient’s response to therapy via vital signs recording … before, during and after treatment
  2. Diaphragmatic, segmental and pursed lip breathing exercises
  3. Postural alignment in wheelchair and bed
  4. Manual therapy including treatment on the mat … bolsters, balls and wedges
  5. Emphasis on postural alignment of head, neck and chest
  6. Strengthening of diaphragm and intercostal muscles
  7. Patient and caregiver education
  8. Energy conservation and work simplification techniques
  9. Standardized assessments
  10. Include SLP services as clinically indicated


Great Resources