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Provider Perspective: Dr. Barbara Yawn on the COPD National Action Plan

Posted on October 24, 2016   |   
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Dr. Barbara Yawn

As healthcare professionals we often bemoan our inability to effect national health care policies. Here is our chance---the COPD National Action Plan.

It was my privilege to attend the NIH—National Heart Lung and Blood Institute—led forum through which the COPD National Action Plan was developed. Through a series of discussions and workshops, we listened to each other’s concerns, barriers and frustration. We even heard about some things that were working pretty well.

From patents and families, were heard that blaming, shaming and denial remain significant barriers. Health professionals reported limited training, resources, time and quality metrics as barriers to providing patients and family affected by COPD with the best and even the basic care needed to live effectively and well with this progressive disease. Policy makers highlighted gaps in evidence, knowledge and of course funds to determine what and how to support primary, secondary, tertiary and rehabilitation care required to improve outcomes. While some of the action steps could be anticipated---better integration of patients into care, collaboration across medical, nursing and other health care specialties, the benefit of putting these down as actual national objectives is encouraging.

Some key stakeholders were missing from the event – by responding to the request for public comment, we can work to ensure our many, diverse provider experiences and opinions are considered.

Please take the time to read through one or all of the objectives and provide comments and feedback. None of us believe that this will solve all of the myriad issues in improving COPD care and outcomes, but it is a place to have your voice heard. If you like the ideas, say so and if you don’t, suggest revisions and alternatives. The website is easy to navigate and it is time to let your voice be heard.

Read and provide formal comments to the National Action Plan directly via the comment system set up by the NHLBI on the Learn More Breathe Better Website here.

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