The air that you breathe goes down your windpipe into tubes in your lungs that end in tiny, elastic-like air sacs. When you breathe in, each air sac fills up with air. When you breathe out, the air sacs deflate.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs due to a loss of elasticity in the air sacs, inflamed or thickening of the airway walls, excessive mucus in the airways, or destruction of the airway walls, and is usually attributed to exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter such as cigarette smoke.
Symptoms of COPD include:
- Shortness of breath or a lack of energy
- Chest tightness
- Excess mucus in the lungs or a chronic cough that produces sputum
- Frequent respiratory infections
People with COPD are also at increased risk of developing a variety of other conditions including heart disease and lung cancer.
COPD has no cure yet, and doctors do not know how to reverse the damage to the airways and lungs, but it is treatable with medication and lifestyle changes that make patients feel better and slow the progress of the disease.
The Premier Point Approach
Due to the debilitating nature of COPD and the difficulties patients experience completing daily tasks, it can place a significant burden on patients and family members, and often results in higher readmission rates than other types of chronic diseases.
Premier Point clinicians actively work with referring physicians to identify patients designated as “very high risk” for hospital readmission, and develop an enhanced care plan with more stringent follow up and communication procedures for the first 30 days post discharge.
Our treatment plans are executed by trained clinicians with significant experience in managing all levels of COPD and include:
- Disease education for the patient, family members, and caregivers including symptoms of asthma and emphysema, and identifying and implementing daily lifestyle modifications to avoid outbreaks or extreme exhaustion
- Assessment and coordinating with primary physicians to secure referrals for pulmonary rehabilitation or oxygen therapy which typically includes special breathing techniques and other means of coping with COPD
- Monitoring the patient for significant fluid retention that may indicate early diastolic heart failure development and assessing sputum color and amount for signs of developing pneumonia
- Providing instructions on the proper usage of short-acting bronchodilators to help relieve sudden COPD symptoms
- Capturing a detailed sleep pattern history to determine if the patient is experiencing lower oxygen saturations or obstructive sleep apnea, requiring additional care
- Working with the patient to develop an appropriate exercise regimen with the desired outcome of increasing energy levels, improving circulation, reducing symptoms, and increasing endurance
We also help patients adhere to medical appointment schedules including securing transportation service, if required, and coordinating with providers to deliver in home lab and diagnostic testing, if the patient’s mobility is restricted.
Our goal is to help COPD patients manage the symptoms of the disease by providing a higher level of education, care, and support – all in the comfort and security of their own homes.