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Rural Health Information Hub

Evaluation Measures for COPD Programs

Having a common set of performance measures can help the project team move toward the same goals. Baseline and interval measures can be used to monitor the effectiveness of program activities and document changes in the target population over time. The measures used to evaluate rural COPD programs vary depending on the program model and its goals.

Process measures focus on how COPD services are provided. Examples of process measures related to COPD programs include:

  • Number of patients enrolled in the program
  • Number of patients referred to pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Number of patients completing the pulmonary rehabilitation program
  • Number of participants referred to the tobacco cessation quitline
  • Number of healthcare providers trained on assessing inhaler technique
  • Number of staff members who attended a COPD presentation
  • Number of steering committee meetings held

Outcome measures focus on health outcomes and the overall results of the program. Examples of outcome measures related to COPD include:

  • Percentage of patients screened for tobacco use
  • Percentage of tobacco-using patients who received tobacco cessation counseling intervention
  • Percentage of patients who received a flu vaccine or who reported already receiving a flu vaccine
  • Percentage of patients aged 65 or older who received a pneumonia vaccine or reported already receiving a pneumonia vaccine
  • Percentage of patients with a COPD diagnosis who have documented results from spirometry
  • Percentage of patients with a diagnosis of COPD and an FEV1/FVC ratio of < 70% and who have symptoms who were prescribed an inhaler

It is important to note that patients with COPD frequently have comorbid conditions like heart disease, mood disorders, lung cancer, and other illnesses. These conditions, along with the extensive medication regime COPD patients typically must follow, can impact COPD health outcome measures.

Additional information on identifying strategies and measures for gathering appropriate data and evidence can be found in the Rural Community Health Toolkit.

Resources to Learn More

Chronic Obstructive Disease Program Implementation Guide
A guide for hospital care providers and stakeholders to improve the quality of care for COPD inpatients. Identifies best practices in COPD care, offers advice on obtaining organizational support, and recommends measures to incorporate into an evaluation plan.
Organization(s): Society of Hospital Medicine, Center for Hospital Innovation & Improvement