Introduction: Despite being a leading cause of death worldwide, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is underdiagnosed and underprioritized within healthcare systems. Existing healthcare policies should be revisited to include COPD prevention and management as a global priority. Here, we propose and describe health system quality standard position statements that should be implemented as a consistent standard of care for patients with COPD.
Methods: A multidisciplinary group of clinicians with expertise in COPD management together with patient advocates from eight countries participated in a quality standards review meeting convened in April 2021. The principal objective was to achieve consensus on global health system priorities to ensure consistent standards of care for COPD. These quality standard position statements were either evidence-based or reflected the combined views of the panel.
Results: On the basis of discussions, the experts adopted five quality standard position statements, including the rationale for their inclusion, supporting clinical evidence, and essential criteria for quality metrics. These quality standard position statements emphasize the core elements of COPD care, including (1) diagnosis, (2) adequate patient and caregiver education, (3) access to medical and nonmedical treatments aligned with the latest evidence-based recommendations and appropriate management by a respiratory specialist when required, (4) appropriate management of acute COPD exacerbations, and (5) regular patient and caregiver follow-up for care plan reviews.
Conclusions: These practical quality standards may be applicable to and implemented at both local and national levels. While universally applicable to the core elements of appropriate COPD care, they can be adapted to consider differences in healthcare resources and priorities, organizational structure, and care delivery capabilities of individual healthcare systems. We encourage the adoption of these global quality standards by policymakers and healthcare practitioners alike to inform national and regional health system policy revisions to improve the quality and consistency of COPD care worldwide.
Keywords: COPD; Global quality standard position statements; Management; Policy.
© 2022. The Author(s).