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COPD resources at a click

Case study: COPDexchange is an educational hub providing healthcare professionals with access to resources needed to manage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

COPDexchange is an educational hub providing healthcare professionals with a 'one-stop-shop' to access the resources needed to manage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It was set up following research that showed healthcare professionals lack confidence in diagnosing and treating this serious disease. Healthcare professionals can access easy-to-read, peer-reviewed learning modules online where they can register for the COPDexchange Roadshows. This series of free, one-day workshops is facilitated by respiratory nurse specialists for primary care practitioners. Launched in September 2009, there are now 2,147 members.

COPD resources

Modules can be downloaded from the COPDexchange site

Research showed that nurses generally manage the care of COPD cases in GP practices, but, even though comprehensive guidelines were available, they lacked confidence and remained unsure how to make the appropriate treatment decisions. Boehringer Ingelheim and Pfizer wanted to set up a new resource that would tackle this and give nurses easy-to-follow guidelines, useful to all those working in primary care.

Market research conducted among 256 primary care professionals showed most want convenient access to credible medical education that supports their professional development plan. Based on this research, COPDexchange was set up as a simple, flexible online medical education hub.

The lynchpin of this hub is a library of peer-reviewed COPD learning modules, ideal for busy healthcare professionals to read in a 10-minute break. Via the website, nurses and other primary care practitioners can register for a series of regional, peer-to-peer meetings, which drive best practice in COPD care and point attendees towards the online resource.

An editorial panel of five eminent GPs and specialist nurses provided content advice.

COPDexchange was launched at the General Practice in Airways Group annual conference, now known as the Primary Care Respiratory Society (PCRS UK), on 25 September 2009 with the aim of creating 'expert' ambassadors to encourage word-of-mouth advocacy. This launch was supported by a roadshow of six interactive workshops visiting COPD hotspots around the UK, led by an enthusiastic independent COPDexchange faculty of specialist nurses. This has continued successfully into 2010.


•  Currently, 2,147 users registered on COPDexchange (as of October, 26 2010) versus a target of 2,000 by 31 December 2010
•  1,042 nurses registered for COPDexchange between September, 25 2009 and 26 October 2010
•  1022 nurses attended the COPDexchange Roadshow meetings in 2009.

"I'll be more confident when treating and supporting patients and when referral is appropriate." Roadshow attendee 2009

In 2010 to date, 90 nurses have attended the COPDexchange Roadshow meetings with an estimated 200 to have attended by the end of the year.

"It has helped bring together my knowledge of COPD. What I have learned will influence my practice and management of COPD." Roadshow attendee 2010

Numerous requests have been received from PCTs and professional organisations to link to COPDexchange and use the programme as part of training activities.

Endorsement was secured from PCRS UK and Education for Health, an independent education and research charity for health professionals, with 92 per cent saying this increased the credibility of COPDexchange.

In a survey conducted via COPDexchange in March 2010:
• 95 per cent rated the educational content and value of the information as 'very good' to 'excellent'
• 93 per cent said they would recommend COPDexchange to colleagues.

Client verdict
"Our objective was to improve the confidence of people who manage COPD by providing simple, easy-to-access, free medical education. The results show us that we have hit upon a formula that meets the needs of these core healthcare professionals, working in true partnership with the editorial panel and the agency."
Fiona Harte, senior brand manager – respiratory, Boehringer Ingelheim

Case study details

Client: Boehringer Ingelheim and Pfizer
Agency: Porter Novelli
Campaign: COPDexchange Medical Education Programme
Timescale: September 2009 to present

24th March 2011


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