A new app is helping to transform the care patients receive from the Trust’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Service.
Working within the wider Respiratory speciality at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, the Pulmonary Rehabilitation team is a community service for adults with chronic respiratory conditions.
With more than 70% of referrals coming from Primary Care, the team plays a crucial role in managing chronic respiratory conditions within the community and avoiding admissions to hospital.
The aim of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Service (PRS) is to provide patients with the information and tools they need to enable them to self-manage their condition.
A new app, known as myCOPD, provides patients with a course of videos, exercises and information about their condition which is structured into a series of short sessions.
Once signed up for the app, patients will work their way through the various sessions, receiving contact from Pulmonary Rehab team members along the way to provide support and check on progress. Patient Activation Measures (PAMs) assess how much support each patient might need throughout the programme and for each patient agree a plan for example, fortnightly telephone appointments.
All patients are now offered a choice between attending face-to-face sessions or using myCOPD, with approximately 20% choosing the app, to complete their rehabilitation programme.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, all PRS services were delivered face-to-face, mainly through group sessions. It was not possible to work in this way during the initial phase of the pandemic so the myCOPD app provides patients with the information and tools to help them to manage their condition at home.
Andrea Jarvis, Service Lead and Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist for the PRS, has been instrumental in bringing the app to a wider audience.
She said: “With the myCOPD app, patients can continue to refer to the videos and information even after completion of the programme helping them to continue to manage effectively at home and avoid hospital admissions. Also, introducing the myCOPD app has allowed us to reach a new group of previously hard to reach patients who did not access face to face rehabilitation programmes.”
Patient feedback indicates the app is easy to follow and convenient. Additionally, patients who are unable to leave the home due to being immunocompromised, or patients who find travelling to the group sessions difficult, are increasingly choosing to complete their rehabilitation using the app.