Virtual and Interactive COPD Pilot Program
Successful Virtual COPD education pilot occurs monthly in the community of Ashcroft and helps keep them in communities and out of the ER. The interactive and informative program allows those with COPD and their family members to ask questions and learn about the condition while staying in their home town, building confidence and growing knowledge.
We do have a fantastic respiratory tech program in Kamloops who has reached out to us in Ashcroft. They have a program that they developed, like, the pilot program was December 5th , and it’s specifically targeted to individuals with COPD that live in the community, and this is a once-monthly project. We just went into our fourth month. We’re still tweaking the program. Ashcroft and Clearwater are the two pilot sites. So the whole premise behind this idea was, this program was starting to be developed for Kamloops people and somebody says, well, why do Kamloops people always have – like, what about these rural sites? We can simply do this whole program on video conference, and we can tap into the rural sites. So, one of the reached out to me, and another one in Clearwater, and I said, absolutely. Like, this needs to be supported and advocated. It’s a two-hour program the first Thursday of every month, and the program – they sit at this actual table and look at that TV, and so the teachers from Kamloops are on there and they go through the layman’s terms of what COPD is all about, go through, like, the different kind of meds, they go through a little bit of exercises to open up your lung volume, and they go through the anxiety component of dyspnea, anxiety and, like, just teach them really good techniques about managing your anxiety, like, before it escalates your COPD exacerbations. So, they also – there’s some other components to it too. But it really gets – we’ve had repeated, like, the whole mandate wasn’t to have – repeated, but we’ve got repeat customers that are coming back every month. They love it. They teach the same material – it’s two hours. I mean…Yes, [its] live, so you can totally participate in it…So, yes, this was a big thing for the participation. They’re asking, oh, like what – another component of this which is really large is, how do we keep these people and teach them at home so they’re not exacerbating and going for crisis management in the emergency? So in our rural sites that are part time, Barriere, Chase, and Ashcroft, these people end up going to Kamloops emerg and plugging up that system. So, they’re really teaching the people now also how – when are you supposed to take your rescue meds and teaching them all about that whole program. Most of these people that sit at this table walk out and say, I’m not starting my rescue program soon enough. So they’re learning this, and we’re keeping them out – and I have specifically asked that they bring a support person because that support person is going to learn this. Because they see this and freak out and, oh my god, my mom is exacerbating and can’t breathe, and they rush – but if they’re learning this program at the same time… and then just keeping them out of the emerg, keeping them at home, and not – yeah, they’re just managed – it’s such a good program. We’re still working on it, it’s still within the two pilot sites because we’re giving feedback each time. And these people that are here are just fantastic participants.
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This project is supported by the RCCbc, to learn more on how RCCbc is supporting rural health in BC, click here.