A retrospective study of the impact of a telephone alert service (Healthy Outlook) on hospital admissions for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Halpin, David M
Levy, M. L.
JournalNPJ primary care respiratory medicine
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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BACKGROUND: Healthy Outlook is a service delivered by the UK Met Office directly to patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that has been in place since 2006. Its objective is to reduce the severity and length of COPD exacerbations, hence improving the quality of life and life expectancy. AIMS: To assess the effect of the Healthy Outlook service on hospital admission rates of all general practitioners that have used the service. METHODS: Control practices were selected for each of the 661 participating practices. The number of hospital admissions for each practice was extracted from the Hospital Episode Statistics database. The differences in admission rates per practice between the first year of use of the Healthy Outlook service and the previous year were compared by paired t-test analyses. RESULTS: For admissions with a primary diagnosis of COPD, the difference between participating and control practices was -0.8% (95% confidence interval (CI)=-1.8 to 0.2%; P=0.13). For admissions with a primary or co-morbid diagnosis of COPD, the difference was -2.3% (95% CI=-4.2 to -0.4%; P=0.02). CONCLUSIONS: Participation in the Healthy Outlook service reduces hospital admission rates for patients coded on discharge with COPD (including co-morbid).