|Description||Background: There are over 300 million people living with COPD and over 2.9 million people
die annually from the disease. Palliative care is an underused resource for this population as it can help establish goals of care, manage disease symptoms, and improve patient’s quality of life. Unfortunately, patients diagnosed with COPD have many effective treatments for their illness but none of them are curative. Therefore, the concept of early use of palliative care is urgently needed to be more widely utilized and understood
Purpose: The purpose of this project was to generate a tool to identify patients appropriate for a palliative care consult based on a COPD diagnosis, risk scores, demographics, and hospital admissions.
Methods: This quality improvement project examined provider practices to determine if palliative care consults had been made in the past 18 months before project initiation. A tool was developed to identify patients diagnosed with COPD who were appropriate for palliative care consults based on inclusion criteria. The medical assistants were educated on how to identify patients through the tool. Providers ordered consults based on tool results.
Results: The chart audit revealed a 100% increase in providers ordering palliative care consults for patients with COPD who were identified by the tool as appropriate.
Implications for Practice: Research shows encouraging results with palliative care introduction early in the COPD. This project’s findings further reinforce and support the importance and impact palliative care and COPD have on each other through evidence-based practices, research, and theory; which will hopefully improve patient’s lives now and in the future.||en_US