Background GIRFT identifies medicine optimisation to improve efficiencies and cost savings. Reducing prescription of High dose inhaled corticosteroids (HD-ICS) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) helps improve patient care by reducing the incidence of pneumonia. A previous work carried out by this group showed an association between HD-ICS prescriptions and the incidence of pneumonia in COPD patients locally, at the primary care level (Ibrahim J et al,Thorax 2018;73:A114-A115). Following this work, a protected learning time event was held in October 2017 for the region’s general practitioners to highlight the local COPD guidelines, role of community respiratory MDT and a protocol for weaning COPD patients from HD-ICS inhalers.
Aim Primary aim was to demonstrate an achievement in cost savings from reduction in pneumonia admissions coupled with reduced HD-ICS prescriptions. Hence, we compared the incidence of pneumonia in COPD patients and HD-ICS prescriptions between April-September of 2017 (P1) and 2018 (P2) in the region of Telford and Wrekin clinical commissioning group.
Method Data were obtained on all hospital admissions for pneumonia between April-September 2018 with a secondary diagnosis code J44 indicating COPD, from the information desk of the clinical commissioning group. For the purpose of comparison, we had the data from previous year for the same time period. We obtained data on HD-ICS prescriptions from openprescribing.net
Results There were 97 pneumonia admissions in P2 v 123 in P1, thereby indicating an absolute reduction of 21%. The total cost of pneumonia admissions in P2 was £337,233 v £463,779 in P1, thereby achieving cost savings of £126,546 over a period of 6 months.
There were 300 less HD-ICS prescriptions in the 14 general practices during P2 as compared to P1.
4 practices with the highest proportion of COPD patients, achieved most reductions in HD-ICS prescriptions (reduction by 281 prescriptions) and at the same time accounting for 32 less pneumonia admissions.
Conclusion GIRFT objectives can be achieved through engagement with primary care. In this respect, it is important to achieve integration as we have done in our area. Our effort fully supports development of new care models to achieve efficiencies within the local health economy
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