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A look back at the top recommendations of 2018


2018 was loaded with valuable insights on managing the complexities of COPD. Discover which expert recommendations reigned supreme this year on COPD insider.

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Another year has passed, and even more insights have come to the surface from our experts at COPD insider. In 2018, they inspired the industry on countless topics, from the benefits of using digital technologies to focusing on the human side of COPD. Most were inspired by your efforts to reduce COPD readmissions—but which recommendations from each expert reigned supreme?


Let’s shed some light on this year’s top recommendations.

Roberto Benzo

Empower patients through motivational interviewing


Roberto Benzo, MD, MSc

Motivational Based Health Coaching

What’s an excellent way to keep patients motivated and adhering to their COPD care plan? Try motivational interviewing. According to Robert Benzo, MD, MSc, this effective tool enables care teams to empower patients by:

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Listening to them actively, not passively

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Connecting on a deeper level

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Promoting real connection that inspires

Expert recommendation: Don’t view patients as people who need to be rescued. Treat them as people who are capable of taking ownership over their health.

Krystal Craddock

Make optimizing your discharge plan a priority


Krystal Craddock, BSRC, RRT-NPS, AEC

COPD Case Manager

Department of Respiratory Care at UC Davis Medical Center

COPD readmissions are a constant challenge all institutions face. Reversing this trend is no easy task, but the recommendation of Krystal Craddock, BSRC, RRT-NPS, AEC, of enhancing your discharge plan is a great place to start. Keep these considerations in mind.

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Make your plan reflective of each patient’s:

  • Goals
  • Strengths
  • Preferences
  • Post-discharge needs
  • Risk for COPD readmission

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Make it inclusive of:

  • Respiratory Care Departments in coordinating post-acute care
  • Respiratory therapists’ expertise and evaluation of the patient

Expert recommendation: Shift your thinking from looking at discharge as an isolated event, to being a part of the entire continuum of care for the patient.

Keith Kanel

Transform care with collaboration


Keith T. Kanel, MD, MHCM, FACP

Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Responsible for developing his own successful program, Keith T. Kanel, MD, MHCM, FACP, knows that it takes more than one person to achieve treatment success. According to him, the three major ways to leverage collaboration and create a successful program are to:

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Allow for autonomy

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Invest in staff training

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Make sure the patient is part of your multidisciplinary team

Expert recommendation: Include patients in your multidisciplinary team so you can build a trustworthy relationship and gain information you couldn’t find anywhere else.

Jerry Krishnan

Understand the needs of the community around your institution


Jerry Krishnan, MD, PhD

Associate Vice Chancellor for Population Health Sciences,

University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System

Treating patients as unique individuals makes care truly personal. However, individuals are also impacted by larger community forces. Jerry Krishnan, MD, PhD, states that in order to create a community-driven health network, you must first understand your community’s needs. Start by focusing on these three key areas:

Chronic disease prevention

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Accessible care

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Opportunities for collaboration

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Expert recommendation: Coordinate with other community hospitals in your network to identify larger community issues and how to proactively address them.

Chris Landon

Fully embrace outreach


Chris Landon, MD, FFAP, FCCP, CMD

Director of Pediatrics, Ventura County Medical Center

Director of Pediatric Diagnostics Center and CEO, Landon Pediatric Foundation

Almost every leading COPD care team has one thing in common—they embrace outreach. Insider Chris Landon, MD, FFAP, FCCP, CMD, emphasizes that rather than waiting until patients present with a first exacerbation, the team should develop outreach programs that contact patients in early stages of COPD.

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Use these forms of outreach to set your patients up for success from the start:


  • Make weekly in-home visits
  • Attend senior health fairs
  • Enhance discharge plans to include regular follow-ups

Expert recommendation: Make sure home visits and education for medical staff are a part of your outreach program.

Chikita Mann

Consider cross-training your nurses


Chikita Mann, MSN, RN, CCM

Disability RN Case Manager Supervisor

Genex Services, LLC for the State of Georgia

The debate rolls on over which specialist on your care team is best to cross-train on broader skills. While respiratory therapists are an excellent care team member to cross-train, Chikita Mann, MSN, RN, CCM, states you should also consider nurses. Nurses are trained to evaluate the patient as a whole and not look solely at COPD. This is a huge advantage with a disease that is associated with so many comorbidities.

As with respiratory therapists, cross-training nurses can help when treating COPD patients by:

Identifying potential comorbidities

Anticipating when a patient may need to be hospitalized

Closing the gap on the continuum of care

Expert recommendation: Consider cross-training your nurses so they can evaluate and help treat the patients overall health.

Vernon Pertelle

Take a step-wise approach to get your program off the ground


Vernon Pertelle, RRT

President and CEO of StratiHealth

Management Consultant for ACOs

Creating a new, successful program is often an uphill battle. But insider Vernon Pertelle, RRT, encourages you not to try doing everything at once. Rather, take a step-wise approach. Consider these tips to get your program off the ground today:

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Define the problem

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Develop multiple solutions

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Ensure sustainability over time

Expert recommendation: Don’t just innovate new programs—approach them with discipline and purpose to help drive success.

New year—new insights ahead


Thank you for all that you’ve done this year to help reduce COPD readmissions and support the best outcomes possible. We’re proud to have been part of your journey.


As 2018 comes to a close, COPD insider is already preparing for 2019. Expect new faces, new insights, and new information on optimizing your COPD care plan in the new year.

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