At Crouse Hospital, “Lung Partners Primary Respiratory Care” is a unique program that uses respiratory therapists (RTs) for inpatient chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) management. Enrolled patients have a primary RT for initial and subsequent hospitalizations; patients can also use RTs as a resource when they’re not in the hospital.
The primary RT screens for co-morbidities, educates patients on their disease, and provides coaching for disease management skills. RTs travel in a SWAT-team approach to all units, which allows them to reduce late treatments. Faster, more efficient nebulizers and bronchodilators also free up RT resources to perform disease management elements.
Since 2014, late treatments were reduced from 23.71% to 2.75%; 30-day readmissions due to respiratory diseases were reduced by 28%; and respiratory medication errors were reduced by 27%. AVATAR patient satisfaction and RT job satisfaction improved, and more patients have been identified and referred for anxiety and depression. A Lung Partners Handbook of protocols and procedures is available to anyone by contacting Crouse Hospital.