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Going for GOLD

I’ve enjoyed watching the Olympics this month and seeing so many Americans are going for gold and achieving it! Over 93 medals won by Team USA so far. In health care, we are strive for gold daily, the GOLD we seek is somewhat different and seemingly priceless for our patients; COPD guidelines written by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease in 2015, aka our playbook. Sadly we are medal

falling behind other nations in the US market. Why igold medals this you ask? While I do not wish to concentrate on the problem in this article but rather on solutions to reverse the trend.In the UK and Canada, many clinicians are screening for COPD with a simple and cost effective tool, the COPD6. This small device is a must have tool for every respiratory clinicians tool bag. It can be used in many ways especially as a precursor to performing spirometry/ PFT or as an alternative measuring tool while patients are still in the hospital. A cost effective strategy for massive screening in primary care offices would be to obtain measurement and document findings during annual Medicare visits. Patients identified at risk could return to the office for a separate visit to complete diagnostic testing and any other evaluations needed such as smoking cessation. So, what are we looking at? Multiple configurations of the COPD6 are available; the screener, USB version which codp allows you to print or place pdf report in the patients chart, and the Bluetooth version which also allows data transmission through a telehealth portal. Measurements taken include the following based on predicted (age, gender, height, and race)

  • FEV1
  • FEV6
  • FEV1/FEV6 Ratio (comparable to FEV1/ FEV Ratio)
  • Lung Age
  • Gold Assessment

It screens out those whose FEV1 is normal, and who therefore do not have COPD, without the risk of false COPD negatives, allowing spirometry resources to be focused on those most at risk. This short humorous video from our neighbors to the north captures this in screener mode and gives you a better idea of how simple the process is. We have disposable mouthpieces for these starting at $0.52 ea, which will also help keep costs low while providing quality care. This is simply one strategy I have witnessed being used in other markets outside the US to help achieve GOLD. I am sure there are many more, have I sparked an idea for you?

Go Team USA!  Here’s the link to the GOLD guidelines

-Amanda K Clark, RRT
Carolina Diagnostic Solutions, LLC 

Contact me for help devolving a COMPLETE testing Path.

Click Here to Buy the COPD6