October 14, 2016

Linking pulmonary rehabilitation and maintenance exercise is key in supporting patient’s journey

New Lungs in Action referral form available to support a quick and seamless transition across continuum of care.

The move from pulmonary rehabilitation to community-based pulmonary maintenance exercise, like Lungs in Action, can be difficult for many patients. A new referral form has been created to assist in this transition.  Colac Area Health is a good example of how to support the patient across the continuum. In order to ensure a seamless, stress-free transition from pulmonary rehabilitation to Lungs in Action, Colac Area Health relocated one of its pulmonary rehabilitation sessions to the nearby Bluewater Fitness Centre where the Lungs in Action class takes place. This move gives patients the opportunity to see the Lungs in Action class and facility prior to starting and become comfortable with the environment and equipment. This also gives them the opportunity to meet the instructors in person and be able to ask questions, prior to making the commitment to start the classes.

The Colac team also identified a number of factors that contribute to uptake and ongoing commitment to attending the classes regularly including:

  • Strong communication between the referring pulmonary rehabilitation program and the maintenance exercise provider
  • Positive feedback from the patient group about the community program
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation providers emphasising the benefits of maintenance exercise
  • Maintenance exercise providers involvement within the pulmonary rehabilitation program like guest speaker opportunities or meet and greet patients
  • Standardised and easy to use referral form

The Lungs in Action referral process, which includes the  new referral form, provides the the community maintenance exercise instructor with all the necessary patient information. In particular the form includes specific exercise information to ensure the patient continues maintaining the gains made in the initial program.

The Lungs in Action referral form and information about the referral process can be found here.

If you are involved in pulmonary rehabilitation and would like to know more about community-based maintenance classes in your area, please email lungsinact@lungfoundation.com.au or phone freecall 1800 654 301 to discuss with our Emma Gainer, Lungs in Action Program Manager.