The pandemic’s onset has seen a significant hit to respiratory services struggling under soaring demand for ventilators, oxygen, and related resources. As a particularly high risk group for severe forms of COVID-19, patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) have faced a challenging year of increased isolation to reduce their chance of infection — this in turn has seen a reduction in the number of COPD admissions over this period.
However, as a chronic disease prone to significant deterioration without appropriate care and disease management, the downstream impacts of a potentially delayed seeking of care for healthcare issues in a patient population that typically sees high complexity, is one that holds significant implications for respiratory services already under high degrees of strain as a result of COVID-19. As recovery planning and action continues over the coming months, it will be crucial to understand how the COPD service and clinical patient characteristic landscape has changed since the pandemic’s onset, and how this may affect future demand.
As such, this report examines the underlying depth surrounding COPD, utilising our Health Data Science Platform (DSP) to generate detailed insights into the current admissions landscape at a national level, as well as changes to key patient flow metrics following COVID-19’s onset. Focusing upon measures such as Length of Stay (LoS), diagnosis depth, and mortality, the report explores how these compare between providers — highlighting strong performers, as well as potential outlier trusts to better understand the underlying factors within such disparities.
With an exploration of the impact of COVID-19 upon specific patient diagnoses and the most severely impacted specialties, the report further delves into the DSP’s predictive insights regarding the upcoming demand in Inpatient care over the coming years, nationally and at a provider level.
It is expected in October 2021 that Trusts will begin recording “Long COVID” via clinical coding as a secondary diagnosis alongside presenting complaints as the primary. This focus will enable clinicians to understand the complexities of patient cohorts and the impact long term COVID has upon COPD outcomes.