Improving compliance with a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease bundle of care in Australian emergency departments: a clinical network quality improvement project

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The aim of this study was to describe the impact of a clinical network-led quality improvement project on compliance with bundle of care elements (individually and as a ‘bundle’) for patients treated for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations in the emergency department.

Participants and methods

A 9-month quality improvement project was performed by a modified knowledge transfer methodology with analysis before and after data collection. The primary outcomes of interest were compliance with key bundle of care elements (individually and as a ‘bundle’). The analysis is descriptive.


Seven emergency departments participated in the project. A total of 179 patients were included in the predata and 203 in the postdata. Administration of controlled oxygen therapy (if oxygen given) increased from 74 to 80% (P=nonsignificant). Administration of inhaled bronchodilators increased from 80 to 91% (P=0.004). Administration of systemic corticosteroids increased from 76 to 88% (P=0.003). Administration of antibiotics (if evidence of infection) increased from 85 to 99% (P<0.001). Analysis of a blood gas in nonmild disease increased from 82 to 91% (P=0.04) and administration of noninvasive ventilation if pH less than 7.3 increased from 53 to 81% (P=0.01). Compliance with all appropriate elements of the defined bundle of care increased from 43 to 63% (P<0.001).


A locally managed, clinical network-supported quality improvement project resulted in significant improvements in compliance with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease bundle of care elements.

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