John DoeGeneral Surgeon
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Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are managed predominantly in primary care. However, key opportunities to optimize treatment are often not realized due to unrecognized disease and delayed implementation of appropriate interventions for both diagnosed and undiagnosed individuals. The COllaboratioN on QUality improvement initiative for achieving Excellence in STandards of COPD care (CONQUEST) is the first-of-its-kind, collaborative, interventional COPD registry. It comprises an integrated quality improvement program focusing on patients (diagnosed and undiagnosed) at a modifiable and higher risk of COPD exacerbations. The first step in CONQUEST was the development of quality standards (QS). The QS will be imbedded in routine primary and secondary care, and are designed to drive patient-centered, targeted, risk-based assessment and management optimization. Our aim is to provide an overview of the CONQUEST QS, including how they were developed, as well as the rationale for, and evidence to support, their inclusion in healthcare systems.
Methods: The QS were developed (between November 2019 and December 2020) by the CONQUEST Global Steering Committee, including 11 internationally recognized experts with a specialty and research focus in COPD. The process included an extensive literature review, generation of QS draft wording, three iterative rounds of review, and consensus.
Results: Four QS were developed: 1) identification of COPD target population, 2) assessment of disease and quantification of future risk, 3) non-pharmacological and pharmacological intervention, and 4) appropriate follow-up. Each QS is followed by a rationale statement and a summary of current guidelines and research evidence relating to the standard and its components.
Conclusion: The CONQUEST QS represent an important step in our aim to improve care for patients with COPD in primary and secondary care. They will help to transform the patient journey, by encouraging early intervention to identify, assess, optimally manage and followup COPD patients with modifiable high risk of future exacerbations.