In spring 2017, Flambeau Hospital, a critical access hospital in Park Falls, WI, noticed an influx of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) readmissions. To address this, they developed a multi-disciplinary COPD Steering Committee comprised of quality, case management, pharmacy, nursing, respiratory therapy and occupational therapy.
Over the next several months they focused on developing a COPD pathway, reviewing processes of each discipline, and developing workflows, tools and resources that were rolled out in January 2018. Their work resulted in an 85% reduction in COPD readmissions that year. Notably, they have sustained these results through 2019.
On Jan. 22, 2020, WHA hosted a webinar-based learning activity for members of the Great Lakes Partnership for Patients Hospital Innovation Improvement Network. The Flambeau team was invited to share their journey of COPD readmissions improvement work. Five representatives from Flambeau’s readmissions team, Sara Bablick, PharmD, director of pharmacy; Kim Bortz, senior director of quality; Kelly Hilgart, RN manager; Kristi Arntsen, COPD educator/respiratory therapist; and Barb Maki, RN/case manager, presented to an audience of nearly 100, representing 29 hospitals and hospital systems across Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Congratulations to Flambeau Hospital for a job well done!