Rural Hospital Guide to Improving Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

April 16, 2021

The Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC), a program of the National Rural Health Resource Center (the Center), shares with you A Rural Hospital Guide to Improving Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the percentage of rural area adults who have been diagnosed with COPD is nearly double the percentage in large metropolitan areas. Adults with COPD are at increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. Rural areas responding to the COVID-19 pandemic may benefit from providing supportive respiratory services to their community members.

The overall purpose of this guide is to provide information about COPD and clarity around best practices of care management for those with COPD in rural communities. The objective is to help rural hospital leadership develop a thorough understanding of COPD services in rural areas, clinical diagnosis, and treatment, including treatment options available and new technology developments useful to rural populations.

Rural hospitals should use this manual to identify areas for improvement in diagnosis, treatment, and long-term care of COPD patients in their communities. State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) partners may also benefit from this guide when meeting with hospital leadership to assist them in thoughtful discussion related to improving the community’s health