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Evidence to Improve Care


Care in the Community for Adults


This quality standard addresses care for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including the assessment of people who may have COPD. It provides guidance on the diagnosis, management, and treatment of COPD in community-based settings. The scope of this quality standard applies to primary care, specialist care, home care, and long-term care.

I was diagnosed with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in 2015, and it took 8 months after referral before I could get in to see a respirologist. During that time, I experienced a major exacerbation, which resulted in hospitalization for 10 days. I felt left in the dark; it was a new diagnosis, a new disease [to me], and I was not provided with information that would help me control flare-ups or help me understand what I could expect. I felt as though my primary care provider could have done more in the way of information sharing and coaching; perhaps I could have avoided the exacerbation, which was frightening.

During my hospitalization I became a patient of the COPD Outreach Program and following discharge I was referred to an ongoing respiratory program, which has been a lifesaver. Education, respiratory exercises, and self-management are so important, and patients need to be provided with information and tools that will ultimately help them improve their quality of life. I think the quality standard for COPD is important because it highlights the needs of newly diagnosed patients—namely a realistic time frame for referral to specialist and resources and tools to help them understand and manage their condition. As a patient living with COPD, I can say that knowledge is power. A quality standard will ensure health care providers give patients the information they need to become proactive advocates for their care.

- S. Johnson, Lived Experience Advisor, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Quality Standard Advisory Committee

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