In the News

COPD Foundation Launches Online Community

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February 10, 2014

As key clinicians in the care of COPD patients, respiratory therapists are being invited to join a new online community established by the COPD Foundation (COPDF) to promote greater understanding of COPD treatment guidelines and give clinicians a place where they can network with one another about best practices.

The Pocket Consultant Guide Community, which launched today, is an offshoot of the Foundation’s Pocket Consultant Guide (PCG) card and mobile phone app. Based on the latest COPD guidelines from GOLD, ATS, ERS, ACP, and ACCP, the card and app provide a quick overview of diagnosis and treatment recommendations and are designed to be easy to use for busy clinicians.

Both are limited by their formats, however, and Scott Cerreta, BS, RRT, director of education at the COPDF, says that’s where the new community comes into play. “The PCG community brings together a cadre of lung health professionals in a secure social collaboration community,” he says. “Respiratory therapists, amongst others, will have the opportunity to learn, share ideas, and pick the brains of top COPD experts and physicians in the world.”  

Well-recognized thought leaders in COPD treatment and research will lead the discussion, which will begin with these topics:

  • Diagnosis and treating COPD vs. asthma and COPD with asthma.
  • What is the role of lung volume reduction surgery? Is it performed often enough?
  • What are the implications of oxygen therapy?
  • Should oxygen be prescribed for episodic or mild hypoxemia?

“The PCG is an indispensable aid for identifying patients for whom spirometry should be performed, how patients should be classified based on spirometry, what additional assessments should be performed, and when and how these diagnostic evaluations should influence therapy,” says John W. Walsh, COPDF president and co-founder. He believes the new online community will build on those concepts.

“Our aim is to promote better COPD diagnosis and treatment, and to provide a place where health care providers can help each other identify those who remain undiagnosed, ensure that those who are already diagnosed are correctly diagnosed, and make sure that those with the correct diagnosis are getting the appropriate treatment,” he says.

Scott Cerreta urges respiratory therapists to download the PCG card and/or app (available in the iTunes app store), and then log on to the site and request to become a registered user of the community.

“The community is an opportunity for you to learn the latest information about COPD management based on the most current evidence and research,” he says. “Come learn from the experts and share your newfound knowledge with your colleagues and organization.”