Phase 2 of innovative project to increase collaboration & coordination of health care providers launches

Asthma Australia is today announcing a further three years of funding for its innovative Adelaide Respiratory Health Project (the Project). The Project aims to improve the capacity of primary health care professionals to deliver best practice asthma care using a patient-centred approach.

Phase 2 builds on successes from Phase 1 of the Project, and will introduce the consumer voice as it trials a collaborative model of care between general practices, pharmacies, and allied health care providers including Local Health Network (LHN) Emergency Departments in metropolitan Adelaide.

With 20 November, 2019 marking World COPD Day, Asthma Australia is pleased to announce the receipt of funding for the next three years for the Project. Asthma Australia CEO Michele Goldman says Phase 2 of the Project will consider a new focus. “As well as involving the pharmacies, general practices and LHNs from Phase 1, Phase 2 will introduce consumers as part of the trials – ensuring their lived experiences are used to help shape the model of care with health practitioners,” Ms Goldman said.

“We’re really pleased that funds from the Adelaide PHN enables us to expand on the work already done. This is an exciting project that places the consumer at the centre and enables healthcare providers to share knowledge and expertise. As part of Phase 2, we hope to increase the number of healthcare providers involved and build up a good understanding of collaborative model of asthma care.”

The Project also aims to build a replicable, scalable and sustainable model of care and referral pathways to reduce potentially preventable hospitalisations and readmissions of people with asthma.

With 13% of South Australians living with asthma or 220,000 people, the state experiences up to 5,800 Emergency Department presentations each year, of which 80% are avoidable with the right help.

“Research shows that people frequent their local pharmacy much more than their general practice and a key part of the Project is for pharmacists to be equipped to identify people with asthma and other respiratory conditions as they present, offer evidence-based support and services, and triage where necessary,” Ms Goldman said.

“But it expands beyond pharmacy and general practice – from the primary care setting to the hospital and encourages meaningful conversations between health practitioners involved in decision making.

“Through the successful uptake of the Project, we expect numbers of preventable hospitalisations for people with asthma involved in the program to decrease. This approach will enable coordinated care that is easy to navigate, which will benefit consumers as well as health care providers,” Ms Goldman explained.

On 20 November every year, many health care professionals recognise the seriousness of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) via health promotion activities, including World COPD Day. “Similarly like last year, the pharmacies and general practices involved in the Project will be promoting the importance of COPD case finding through activities supported by Lung Foundation Australia.”

Lung Foundation Australia CEO, Mark Brooke, said many people have features of both asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, described as asthma–COPD overlap, and that an evidence-based, patient-centric approach is critical to improve patient outcomes.

“As the lead organisation for delivering evidence-based COPD clinical resources and training, we are committed to working with Asthma Australia to ensure the Lung Foundation Australia COPD-X Guidelines are applied to improve patient outcomes,” he said.

Under the theme “All together to end COPD”, we will emphasise the uncontrolled asthma progression to COPD, asthma/COPD overlap, and be a voice for best practice for COPD,” Ms Goldman added.

 

If your general practice or pharmacy is interested in finding out more, contact Projects and Partnerships Manager, Janine Philips on 08 8238 9304.

 

About COPD:

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term for a group of progressive lung conditions including:

  • Emphysema
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic asthma.

The condition causes narrowing of the bronchial tubes in the lungs (sometimes called bronchi or airways) and this makes it difficult to breathe. COPD is a common lung condition affecting both men and women. Around 1 in 7 Australians aged 40 years and over have some form of COPD however around half of the people living with COPD symptoms do not know they have the condition. Indigenous Australians are 2.5 times more likely to have COPD than non-Indigenous Australians. COPD is not a contagious disease however we do know that it is the second leading cause of avoidable hospital admissions in Australia.

Around 20% of people with COPD also have asthma, which is described as asthma-COPD overlap (also called asthma-COPD overlap syndrome, or ACOS). ACOS is not a disease on its own and may have several different causes. People with ACOS need different treatment from people with  asthma or COPD alone.

World COPD Day is organised by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) in collaboration with health care professionals and COPD patient groups throughout the world. Its aim is to raise awareness about COPD and improve COPD care throughout the world. For more information visit:  https://goldcopd.org/world-copd-day/ https://lungfoundation.com.au.