The Common Sense Guide to Improving Palliative Care > Assuring Comfort > 5.2 About Team Breathe-Easy
This chapter will help you to improve symptom management in advanced illness and at the end of life. By following the basic quality improvement (QI) process described in Chapter 2, you too can develop a project that improves comfort. "Team Breathe-Easy" is a composite based on many teams that have successfully improved their symptom management practices.
Physicians and nurses from acute care, community palliative care, and the lung-disease clinic realized that their chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients were not doing well at managing their symptoms at home. Instead, they frequently appeared in the emergency room, frightened and overwhelmed by dyspnea, or they cancelled appointments, complaining that they were just too tired to move. These healthcare providers decided that together, they had to do something to help their patients. But what? The brochures and posters around the clinic were just not enough to help patients learn good self-management techniques. But what could these busy healthcare professionals do? And how? Should they collect data on a unit or jump right in with promising ideas? Should they recruit other people from various clinics to be on their team? What would you do?