The Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT) recently applauded Medavie Blue Cross for actively providing practical health promotion initiatives to patients with asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in a new patient-centered strategy. These patients will be given complimentary and prompt access to registered respiratory therapists (RRTs) and other members of the healthcare team holding Certified Respiratory Educator (CRE) or Certified Asthma Educator (CAE) credentials to receive accurate information on their disease, and guidance on how best to manage it. Aside from consultation, patients will be given access to support services and referrals to other resources.
When combined, asthma and COPD continue to account for billions of health dollar costs across the US, which are commonly made worse by a lack of effective and stringent self-management, leading to exacerbations that warrant emergency room visits or hospitalization. Medavie aims to foster better self-management of these conditions by boosting patient knowledge, treatment compliance, and symptom familiarization with concurrent medication adjustment, in order to reduce occurrences of exacerbations.
“Medavie Blue Cross has shown great leadership in recognizing the value of respiratory educators in helping individuals who suffer from asthma and/or COPD,” said Jessie Cox, the President of the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists. “There is no question that having such a proactive approach to the management of chronic respiratory disease will result in a higher quality of life for the individual but also to substantial savings to the health care system.” The Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists, founded in 1964, continues to be an advocate, service provider, and professional gathering of over 2,600 respiratory therapists in Canada.
One of the challenges physicians face in dealing with asthma and COPD is the fact that most patients come to the clinic presenting with overlapping symptoms, which can prevent a patient from receiving proper treatment as the two conditions require different regimens. An allergist and fellow from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), Dr. William Busse, found that half of older patients with obstructive airway conditions complain of non-discrete symptoms, which emphasizes the need for a more thorough standard in assessment and diagnostics. The new effort to streamline patient support services that are designed based on observations such as the one offered by Dr. Busse may in fact reduce exacerbations in asthma and COPD patients, thus reducing the costs associated with both diseases.