Working to improve the health of the population and the quality of life of the people we serve.
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March 04, 2013
SURREY – Langley and Chilliwack patients living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, will be able to better manage their condition at home, making fewer trips to hospital with the expansion of the BreatheWELL at Home program to these communities. In the fall of 2011, Fraser Health piloted the BreatheWELL program in Burnaby and New Westminster. As a result of the success of the program and its proven benefit to patients with COPD, the program has expanded to patients living in Langley and Chilliwack.
BreatheWELL at Home is a program that improves health outcomes for people living with COPD, sometimes called emphysema, by helping to prevent lung attacks and hospitalization.
Patients in the BreatheWELL program receive specialized clinical support including two to three initial home visits by a nurse and respiratory therapist who work with the patient and family doctor to develop a care plan. The patients also receive therapy services and are connected to services such as lung rehab, mental health and substance use (i.e. depression and anxiety, smoking cessation), home support, rehabilitation therapy, and exercise programs. In addition, the program provides patient self-management education such as coaching the individual in self-care (proper medications) and self-management (how to stay in control, manage and prevent flare-ups and follow action plans in case they occur).
In some cases, a technician installs in-home telehealth monitoring technology depending on the patient’s need. This technology helps patients manage and understand their condition by tracking vital measurements, such as blood pressure, pulse and oxygen levels, and providing health education.
Patients enrolled in the program from April 1, 2012, saw a 35% decrease in ER visits and a 51% decrease in acute care admissions following the implementation of BreatheWELL in Burnaby, New Westminster, Langley and Chilliwack. Of those admitted, the average length of stay per patient decreased by 48%.
Fraser Health, in collaboration with its Division of Family Practice and community partners and partner organizations, is shifting to a fully integrated, primary and community-based health care system. This new way of delivering care is part of province-wide work to ensure people can have the majority of their health care needs met with seamless, high-quality care in their communities. The shift aligns with the Home is BestTM philosophy that drives how Fraser Health delivers care, acknowledging that home is the best place to make life-altering decisions, recover from illness or injury, and support healthy living to prevent disease.
The shift towards an integrated primary and community-based health care is part of the B.C. Ministry of Health’s innovation and change agenda to improve patient care while managing growing health care costs and ensuring sustainability.
Mary Polak, MLA for Langley
John Les, MLA for Chilliwack
Dr. Grace Park, Program Medical Director, Home Health:
Lynda Foley, Executive Director, Clinical Programs and Operations:
For more information on Fraser Health’s Community Respiratory Services for people with COPD, please click here.
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