We are leading pioneering research to help reduce length of hospital stay and readmission rates for patients with chronic lung disease. Our aim is to lower costs for the NHS whilst also delivering a greater service with more benefits for patients.
Led by, Dr Stephen Bourke, consultant in respiratory medicine and honorary senior lecturer at Newcastle University – our research team has developed a simple clinical scoring system, known as DECAF, which can predict the survival of patients who become hospitalised with an acute exacerbation (the second most common reason for all hospital admissions).
The clinical and financial benefits of managing COPD patients at home during acute exacerbations are abundant and hospital staff with experience of treating unwell patients can deliver most treatments at home. Our DECAF tool, is helping clinical teams to safely select COPD patients selection for ‘Hospital at Home’ (HAH) care and our research aims to find out whether HAH is safe and more cost-effective than hospital admission, whether HAH is the preferred choice for patients and carers, and whether HAH is associated with improvements in health-related quality of life.
Our COPD team is currently developing an innovative app which will support the self-care of patients with COPD through the concept of ‘telementoring’. Using basic diagnostic data provided by patients on a daily basis, the app will help preempt when an acute COPD episode or exacerbation is likely to happen, allowing clinicians to suggest advice and encourage patients to make their own decisions on the next steps.
Launching in 2017, the app aims to provide a scalable, user friendly solution for both patients and clinical staff to record, monitor and evaluate the possibility of COPD ‘episodes’. By increasing early intervention through increased self-management, the aim is to support patients at home, put them in better control of their condition and provide a higher quality of life.
By increasing the patient’s self-management skills and streamlining the administration aspects of the patient’s results, this will also free up clinical time allowing staff to focus on providing patient care in other areas.