Rome Memorial Hospital Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program Certified

    Oct. 5, 2010
    Rome Memorial Hospital’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program has been issued a three-year certification by the American Association for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), announced Program Director Lynda Ferris, MS, RRT.

    Established in 2008, the program combines exercise and patient education to break the downward spiral of deconditioning and increasing shortness of breath characteristic of patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other chronic respiratory problems.

    “We are very proud and excited to have met the stringent guidelines required to earn this certification,” Ferris said. “These guidelines reflect the high standard of care we provide for our patients as they work to improve their breathing and restore their quality of life.”

    According to Ferris, most patients complete the outpatient program in six to nine weeks. “Because we evaluate each patient according to their abilities and progress, the duration of the program can vary quite a bit from patient to patient,” she said. “We set realistic goals based on achievements, so while some may be ready to graduate in as little as six weeks, others may take up to 12.”

    The AACVPR instituted program certification in 1998 to recognize programs that meet the published Guidelines for Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation. Programs document their adherence to these nationally developed guidelines by undergoing the review process. Those applying for certification complete an extensive checklist related to the daily operation of their program.

    As part of the review process, outcomes are measured and reported to the AACVPR in the clinical, knowledge, and health domains for each patient, as well as patient satisfaction. “We measure our success by testing program participants’ knowledge of lung disease at the start and end of the program as well as the level of shortness of breath participants experience, the changes in their quality of life, and the change in the distance they are able to walk in a six-minute walk test pre and post-program,” explained Ferris. “All patients also complete satisfaction surveys when they graduate. We use the results of all of these measures to make improvements in the program.”

    Certification also requires submission of a completed Individual Treatment Program (ITP) so the accrediting agency can follow how a patient is tracked throughout the program. The ITP details assessments of each patient’s level of education related to their lung disease, nutrition, psychosocial aspects and exercise. “We monitor each patient individually and tailor the plan according to their abilities and progress through every session,” Ferris said. “By using this philosophy, we are able to set realistic goals for each patient at each session.”

    Since opening in 2008, 145 people have graduated from the program, regaining areas of their lives many had given up on. “People are amazed at the progress they make in such a short amount of time,” Ferris concluded. “Many people with lung disease feel shut off from the rest of the world. They are afraid to leave home because they fear that they will be out of breath or run out of oxygen. We’ve had people who were barely able to make it into our office at the beginning who are able to return to work, go on a vacation or visit family out of town. In short, this program changes lives.”
    For more information about the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Rome Memorial Hospital, please call 338-7149.