According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
It is estimated that 16 million people in the U.S. are currently diagnosed with COPD, with an additional 14 million estimated to be in the beginning stages of the disease and not yet diagnosed.
COPD is a preventable and treatable disease that is characterized by persistent, progressive airflow limitation often associated with chronic inflammatory response.
he main symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath and chronic coughing, with or without mucous.
COPD exacerbations, characterized by worsening of the patient’s respiratory symptoms, are common, especially during the spring season, and can be extremely dangerous for the patient.
Upon diagnosis, the disease is classified within four categories of severity ranging from mild to end-stage COPD.
Like many other diseases, early detection is key. The earlier the stage in which COPD is diagnosed and treated, the easier it is to manage and increase quality of life for the patient.
Cone Health understands the seriousness of COPD and how many people are affected by the disease locally.
This is why they began a network-wide COPD Gold Initiative in June 2012, to help COPD patients who have been admitted to the hospital three to four times in a time span of six months better manage their disease and avoid future re-admittance.
This initiative has enlisted the services of a myriad of specialties across the network to identify patients having difficulty managing their condition and to implement an education and treatment program to help increase the patient’s quality of life
Janice Gasaway is the director of Quality and Safety for Cone Health Medical Group and Triad HealthCare Network.
Gasaway is a registered nurse and has been involved in healthcare performance improvement for the last 10 years.
She earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the State University of NY Regents College, a Master’s degree in nursing administration and a certificate in business administration from Queens University of Charlotte.