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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide [1]. According to various burden of disease analyses [2], COPD is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States and worldwide, and is projected to become the third-leading cause of death by 2020. In the United States, an estimated 16 million adults have been diagnosed with COPD [2]. Mortality from COPD has increased 22% in the past decade, due in part to an aging population.
COPD is associated with high utilization of healthcare resources, including frequent clinician office visits, frequent hospitalizations due to acute exacerbations, and need for chronic therapy. Primary care physicians are well positioned to make an earlier diagnosis of COPD and potentially improve outcomes in this disease with earlier intervention.However, a 2009 needs assessment of primary care physicians conducted by PennCME/BestPractice revealed the following gaps in disease management:
·         Physicians often fail to identify patients with early signs of COPD, risking future injury
·         Physicians and their staff lack adequate training and confidence in the use and interpretation of the results of spirometry in diagnosis and staging
·         Counseling about lifestyle changes for patients with COPD or at risk of COPD is inadequate, especially counseling and treatment to promote smoking cessation
·         Inadequate use of communications systems to improve ongoing care
·         Physicians underprescribe safe, effective therapies and overuse ineffective therapies, which often results in exacerbation of the disease
·         Physicians lack awareness about evidence-based COPD management guidelines
Target Audiences
Primary care physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other health care providers and clinical practice teams.
Educational Formats
1. Clinical Reviews in COPD presents critical areas of knowledge about the disease in a highly organized, coherent pathway, along with practical approaches to achieving best practices.This section provides a foundation and reference base for other featured interventions.
2. Hot Topics consists of short, newsworthy articles in a focused area of the diagnosis or management of COPD. These articles are designed to engage participants in the topic area with content that provides the opportunity for more in-depth learning.
3. Interactive Minicases are based on real-life interactions between primary care physicians, the health practice team, and patients with COPD. Case topics include the following:
  • Avoid These Common Errors in Spirometry
  • A Patient With a First Exacerbation of COPD
  • Is This Asthma, COPD, or Both?

4. Point-of-Care CME offers structured, self-directed online learning to physicians on topics relevant to their clinical practice.

5. Simulations place physicians in the active role of problem solvers, learning critical skills in a practical setting. (You must register first to participate in this activity.)


COPD Resources from Penn CME/BestPractice

Staff Reference Center
Extended Resources
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