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  • Rome Memorial Hospital Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program earns national recertification

    Rome Memorial Hospital’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program has earned its recertification by the American Association for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), announced Program Director Lynda Ferris, MS, RRT.  The program was recognized with the three-year certification for its commitment to improving the quality of life for its patients by maintaining the highest standards of care.

    The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program combines exercise and education to break the downward spiral of a patient’s physical condition due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other chronic respiratory problems.  The program is designed to help these patients participate in activities with less shortness of breath, as well as teach them how to “live” better with their lung condition.

     Since opening in 2008, 253 people have graduated from the program at Rome Memorial Hospital.  The graduates have been able to regain 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 said.  “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.”

    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 a 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 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.”

     “The AACVPR is the gold standard by which guidelines are set to promote and provide superior quality pulmonary rehab programs,” said Eileen Luley, MS, RRT, RPSGT, director of cardiopulmonary services at the hospital.

    “Congratulations to Dr. Anwar Wassel for his oversight and direction, to Lynda Ferris MS, RRT, coordinator, for her dedication, commitment and hard work, and to Patty Parshall CRT, for the energy and heart she brings to the program,” Luley added.   “This acknowledgement by the AACVPR is also a reflection of the superior work of all the respiratory therapists, dieticians, pharmacists, nurses, and physical therapists involved in the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program.”

     For more information about the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Rome Memorial Hospital, please call 338-7149.