COPD Treatment Initiative for Patients With Lung Cancer
Canadian investigators have reported improvement in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in patients with lung cancer with the use of a quality improvement initiative. Geneviève C. Digby, MD, MSC, and Andrew Robinson, MD, FRCPC, of Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, reported their study findings in a recent issue of the Journal of Oncology Practice.
They implemented change by using a define/measure/analyze/improve/control (DMAIC) improvement cycle. Data on 477 patients with newly diagnosed lung cancer were obtained by chart review of the Cancer Care Ontario database; this information included patient characteristics, pulmonary function test results, and bronchodilator therapies.
Improvement cycle 1 consisted of prioritizing COPD management by respirologists in the Lung Diagnostic Assessment Program. Improvement cycle 2 consisted of physician restructuring and developing a standard work protocol. A total of 166 patients were included in cycle 1 and 127 patients, in cycle 2.
Drs. Digby and Robinson reported that the number of respirology-managed patients with airflow obstruction receiving inhaled bronchodilators increased in both cycle groups. And, by cycle 2, those with airflow obstruction were more likely to receive long-acting bronchodilators if managed by respirologists.