To develop and implement a COPD Action Plan similar to those used in asthma self management.
We developed and implemented a COPD action plan which is used in disease management of our patients. This plan and stepwise approach incorporates the recommendations from the European Respiratory Society, Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Patients with COPD and the Global Initiative for Lung Disease. This COPD Action Plan is based on symptomology and is based on the Green, Yellow and Red Zones like the Asthma Action Plan. Green Zone includes maintenance medications and as needed use of short acting beta-agonists. Yellow Zone adds medications or scheduled short acting bronchodilators. The yellow zone also includes an antibiotic for use if change in sputum volume, consistency or color. Red Zone continues scheduled short acting beta agonists and adds steroid burst.
We have used these action plans successfully since 2001. These action plans allow the patient to self manage some exacerbations outside of the hospital, thereby reducing utilization. A chart review of patients in medicine clinics with usual care versus those followed in a pulmonary clinic with an action plan showed fewer hospital stays and actually less antibiotic use.
COPD action plans, like their asthma counterparts can be useful in the management of COPD exacerbations.
Use of COPD action plans can assist both the provider and the patient in the management of exacerbations. Early intervention in and exacerbation may reduce emergency department visits and possibly hospitalizations.
Rita Mangold, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information