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COPD audit aims to drive collaborative approach to patient care

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A national chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) audit programme for England and Wales has been launched at the British Thoracic Society Winter meeting.

The programme will be clinically led by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), the British Thoracic Society (BTS), the Primary Care Respiratory Society (PCRS-UK) and in partnership with the British Lung Foundation (BLF), and will commence in early 2013.

Respiratory disease is the third leading cause of death in England, with approximately 23,000 people dying from COPD each year. Over six million people in England suffer with COPD or asthma and respiratory disease is one of the principal reasons for emergency admission to hospital.

The audit programme brings together primary care, secondary care, rehabilitation and patient experience, marking a ground breaking, partnership approach with multidisciplinary, collaborative working to drive improvements in COPD patient care.

The aims of this cross-cutting audit will be to map the patient journey, map the variation in patient care and to use the data collected extensively and innovatively in order to drive up standards of care.

The new national COPD audit programme comprises five key elements: primary care audit - prospective, continuous extraction of audit data via remote access from general practice computerised patient record systems; secondary care snapshot audits of admissions to hospital with COPD exacerbation and outcomes at 30 and 90 days; pulmonary rehabilitation snapshot audits of service delivery and quality; snapshot audits of the resources and organisation of COPD services in primary and secondary care; and one year development work to identify Patient Reported Experience Measures (PREMs) and test methodologies for integration to the COPD audit programme.

The Clinical Directors leading the audit programme called upon colleagues to prepare to participate. Preparation will involve nominating an individual to take overarching responsibility for coordinating participation, ensuring quality data is submitted, looking at data and driving improvement. It will also involve identifying who needs to be aware of and support participation locally, for example audit colleagues, accident & emergency staff, commissioners, medical directors, nurses, practice managers, physiotherapists, and other clinical teams such as acute medicine, geriatrics etc. It is also an opportunity to engage junior colleagues with audit and quality improvement.

The audit programme implementation will start in early 2013 and will run for three years with the possibility of extending it to five years.

The audit programme is commissioned for England and Wales by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) on behalf of the DH and is part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP).

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