Chronic Respiratory Diseases

Early Identification and Diagnosis of Chronic Respiratory Diseases: The ‘Primary’ Role in Improving Patient Outcomes in Asthma, COPD, and IPF

CME Information

Accreditation/Designation Statements

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Boston University School of Medicine and Rockpointe. Boston University School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Boston University School of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

All other healthcare professionals will be issued a certificate of participation.

Release/Expiration Date

This internet, enduring activity (audio/slides) will be available for one year, beginning December 26, 2016 through December 26, 2017.

Program Overview

Effective treatments for common chronic respiratory conditions are available to alleviate symptoms, prevent disease progression, and improve quality of life; however, many patients attribute their shortness of breath and decreased ability to perform usual activities to the normal aging process and only seek treatment in urgent-care settings for acute exacerbations. Because many respiratory conditions present with similar symptoms, patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) may be misdiagnosed and are not engaged in appropriate routine care for their conditions, causing a costly cycle of exacerbation and progressive lung damage. Thus, an awareness of “red flags” in patient histories and physical exams can lead primary care physicians to perform appropriate diagnostic tests to differentiate these conditions and ensure appropriate treatments based on established guidelines.

Primary care providers (PCPs) are in a key position to detect the early warning signs of chronic respiratory diseases and initiate treatments earlier in the disease course to delay progression and improve outcomes for patients with asthma, COPD, and IPF. In COPD, for example, 85% of patients with COPD visited their primary care doctor or a clinic at least once with respiratory symptoms in the 5 years before diagnosis. According to the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), early diagnosis of COPD may protect against worsening symptoms, as several studies have found that lung function declines faster in the earlier stages of disease. However, as many as 50% of individuals with COPD symptoms have not received a diagnosis. This program is designed to provide PCPs and family physicians with the awareness to screen at-risk patients for common respiratory conditions and perform and interpret appropriate diagnostic tests to confirm diagnoses of asthma, COPD, and IPF.

Learning Objectives

After completing this activity, the participant should be better able to:

  1. Detect the early warning signs of common respiratory diseases and apply appropriate diagnostic tests to make timely and accurate diagnoses of COPD, asthma, and IPF in the primary care setting
  2. Provide guideline-driven care for patients with COPD, asthma, and IPF, including specialist referrals when necessary
  3. Describe strategies to facilitate patient self-management and a multidisciplinary care approach for chronic respiratory conditions by engaging patients and monitoring for response and progression

Jointly provided by Boston University School of Medicine and Rockpointe.

Published December, 2016


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