Thrive ePulmonary is at the forefront of making sure that those battling chronic respiratory disease receive the care they need.
DENVER, CO, April 08, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ — Using the first few months of the global Covid-19 pandemic as an indicator, experts have predicted that respiratory departments in hospitals and private clinics are going to be filled beyond capacity for a long time to come. Respiratory therapists may also be in extremely short supply, for non-emergencies. Hospitals have already reached a point where breathing aids, such as ventilators, are not available for everyone that needs one. As a result, care for those battling chronic respiratory conditions such as COPD may suffer for months, or even years.
Living under a stay at home order, though challenging, also presents an unprecedented opportunity. Modern life is so busy and hectic that people are sometimes unable to find time and energy to learn new skills that will benefit them. At this time we have no choice but to pare down our schedules to only doing what is absolutely most essential, leaving many hours in the day to occupy. It’s ok to spend some time binge watching shows or sorting through old photos but respiratory patients would be wise to use this time to develop skills that may be nothing short of lifesaving in the very near future?
With respiratory departments at hospitals and clinics being overrun with current Covid-19 patients, programs like Thrive ePulmonary are going to be key in respiratory health care in the coming years. Thrive is much more than a series of education videos. It is an impressive, online respiratory disease management education program that empowers respiratory patients to take control of their health. Its main objective is to slow disease progression by helping patients control symptoms to prevent further lung damage and avoid hospital visits. Better management skills help patients to feel stronger physically, more confident mentally, and calmer emotionally which leads to better health outcomes, overall.
Thrive ePulmonary is an all-encompassing masterclass that every respiratory patient could benefit from, no matter what stage their disease is in. Those in early stages may be able to prevent their conditions from worsening while those in later stages may see some improvement in their breathing with better symptom management, better nutrition, and proven breath control techniques.
As of now there is no cure for COPD but there is a lot that can be done to maintain, or even improve quality of life for patients. Patients lose lung capacity by suffering from a severe symptom escalation, commonly known as an exacerbation. Lung damage cannot be reversed once it occurs. So, the key to slowing disease progression is employing management techniques to keep symptoms in check.
With this possible interruption in care, it is more important than ever that respiratory patients develop self-management skills. According to recent data, an estimated 721,000 hospital visits per year are attributed to COPD. Exacerbations rarely come out of the blue. There are early warning signals that, when acted upon, can lessen the severity of exacerbation or in some cases prevent them all together. A large percentage of these visits can be avoided if patients were better instructed on how to recognize a potential exacerbation and knew what steps to take.
Thrive was engineered by a group of respiratory professionals including a respiratory therapist, a certified nutritionist, wellness coaches and those with a background in respiratory patient education. Patients will be guided through 8 weeks of video classes on everything from how to recognize an exacerbation and what to do about it, to how and what to eat to ease symptoms, to better breathing through proven methods, including a fun harmonica class. They will also have the option to make appointments for personal consultations with certified professionals.
As healthcare organizations are increasingly run as for-profit corporations, one-on-one time that patients get with their doctors or respiratory therapists is brief. On average is it less than 13 minutes. In addition, many patients shop online for medications for convenience and savings. Even when getting medications at a pharmacy, patients rarely speak to a pharmacist. Instead a tech, or even a regular cashier will find their prescription and send them on their way. Printed instructions are included but there is little opportunity for clarification or instruction.
The expense of a doctor or pharmacist’s time is mitigated by a healthcare corporation by having lower paid staff members service the patient as much as possible, while the doctor or pharmacist only steps in when needed. In some cases, they don’t see the patient at all during routine visits. No time is made for delving more deeply into patient concerns and, as a result, patient education has suffered greatly.
For example, inhaled medications are standard for those with COPD, chronic asthma, or other respiratory conditions. A recent study found that more than 40% of patients are using their inhalers incorrectly most likely because no one either at their doctor’s office or pharmacy has instructed them on proper usage.
Patients may see a delay in getting appointments with their respiratory therapists. As hospitals are busy dealing with coronavirus patients, those with compromised respiratory systems would be putting themselves at risk by entering these same hospitals for routine appointments or even emergency exacerbation intervention.
Thrive is a wide-ranging program and one of the only ones that also has a focus on the emotional well-being of coping with being diagnosed with a chronic illness. Without a positive mental and emotional outlook, patients are less likely to follow essential medication and fitness programs. There are also classes that are meant to be shared with family members or loved ones to help them better understand what the respiratory patient is dealing with on a day to day basis. Student’s also have access to a private support forum that is comprised of other respiratory patients. COPD is an invisible disease that often differs from day to day. As a result patients often feel stigmatized and misunderstood by their friends and family members. Having a safe place to share feelings, ask questions, share information, and emotionally support one another is vital to ongoing care.
Many respiratory patients can’t participate in pulmonary rehab because of transportation or scheduling issues but these classes can be done anytime, anywhere that has internet access via computer, tablet, or even a phone. Students have lifetime access to the video classes and digital handouts. They can go over the information as often as they need to and follow along with the fitness routines. Patients also will have access to something that is sorely lacking in the healthcare industry today, one on one, uninterrupted time with certified professionals, to ask questions and get advice.
With the burden of caring for the coronavirus patients now numbering over a million, worldwide, insurance contributions are expected to decrease while copays are expected to increase especially for respiratory procedures. Thrive is much less expensive than traditional pulmonary rehab and students can make low cost appointments with a registered respiratory therapist, certified nutritionist, and a counselor who specializes in helping those with chronic illnesses. Appointments are done via computer video or phone according to the student’s preference. As of right now appointment times are generally available within a few days vs. several weeks waiting for traditional healthcare appointments.
Lisa, Thrive’s education content director said, “I have been doing respiratory patient education for more than 8 years. I have worked with Cory, the course facilitator, to produce thousands of hours of videos, and thousands of social media and blog posts, all focused on helping respiratory patients understand how to better manage their conditions. The most frustrating thing for us was that we’d always get tons of comments from patient’s saying that they’ve had COPD for 5 years, 10 years, or longer and no one had ever told them what we laid out in a 3 minute video. We are so excited that the technology finally exists that we can put all this info in one place and that people can go at their own pace and review as they feel necessary. Our goal is to never hear of a patient losing lung capacity again simply because they did not understand how to use their medication properly, or how to recognize and manage a symptom escalation.”
The beginning classes are free and will introduce students to some of the most essential aspects of managing their respiratory conditions. As we’ve mentioned, respiratory patients need to do everything within their power to stay out of the hospital, especially for these next few months. In the first class students will be taught how to monitor their own symptoms and what to if symptoms begin to escalate. Self-monitoring should be done daily and may be nothing short of life-saving.
Breathlessness is one of the most prevalent struggles for those with diminished lung function. Learning how to clear airways and manage breathlessness will go a long way to improving the day to day lives of patients. In the second class students will follow along to learn these essential breathing techniques. These proven techniques, decrease feelings of breathlessness, increase endurance, and also calm that anxiety that so often accompanies having a breathing condition.
Many respiratory patients struggle with meal times. Those with COPD or other lung conditions have to avoid food triggers that can cause bloating. It’s not as simple as reading a list of foods to eat and avoid. Everyone has different triggers and the third class is a detailed game plan on how to identify and avoid them. Because mealtimes can be a challenge many respiratory patients struggle with low body weight making them feel weak and more susceptible to illness. By eating healthy foods that don’t trigger symptoms they are more able to maintain an appropriate body weight. Those who join the program can work with a certified nutritionist to come up with a diet that is both nutritious and safe which doesn’t aggravate their breathing problems.
Thrive eLearning is an innovative program that empower patients to take control of their chronic health issues through education, peer support, and something that is sorely lacking in health care today, one-on-one time with healthcare professionals.
Thrive is an all encompassing masterclass whose goals are to improve the day to day lives of patients, teach them methods to slow disease progression, and to improve health outcomes over all.
Thrive is a great care equalizer. Classes are composed by healthcare professionals and certified providers. Patients living in rural or lower income areas often have little or no access to specialized care. Students can attend instruction sessions anytime, anywhere that internet is available via computer, tablet, or phone. One on one counseling sessions are also conducted via video conferencing or phone, according to the student’s preferences. Appointments are often available with a matter of days and at a much lower cost than a traditional healthcare appointment.
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