American College of Physicians Launches Free Web-based Resource to Improve COPD Care

COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States

ACP's Steven E. Weinberger, MD, FACP, deputy executive vice president
and senior vice president for medical education and publishing (left),
and Jeffrey P. Harris, MD, FACP, president, announce the launch of
ACP's new COPD Portal at a press briefing at Internal Medicine 2009.

PHILADELPHIA, April 23, 2009 -- The American College of Physicians (ACP) today announced the ACP COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) Portal. The Web site provides concise answers to specific clinical and practice-management questions for internists, other health care professionals, and patients and their families.

COPD -- typically a result of smoking -- is a serious disease involving the airways and lung tissue that over time makes it difficult to breathe. More than 12 million people are currently diagnosed with COPD and an additional 12 million likely have the disease and don't even know it.

"Our goals for the ACP COPD Portal," said Steven E. Weinberger, MD, FACP, ACP's deputy executive vice president and senior vice president for medical education and publishing, "are to increase physician awareness of what constitutes high-quality, evidence-based COPD care; increase awareness of the gap between current practice and acceptable standards of care for COPD; and provide information for affected patients to help them manage the disease and any complications."

A comprehensive educational resource, the ACP COPD Portal is updated weekly, providing physicians and patients with the latest evidence-based guidance. Content includes relevant information from a variety of sources, including ACP's Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program (MKSAP), Annals of Internal Medicine, ACP Internist, ACP Journal Club, and ACP's Physicians' Information and Education Resource (PIER). Each resource within the portal is identified with an icon. The home page features RSS-fed content.

The ACP COPD Portal is organized into two main areas: Patient Resources, which includes a variety of tools and publications designed specifically for patients and their families, and Clinician Resources, which provides a rich and deep set of tools and content designed for those involved in the care of patients with COPD. Links within each section of each area allow physicians and patients to move between related sections in each area. Visitors can browse, search, and download information specific to their needs.

The Clinician Resources area is organized into three categories: quality, practice issues, and clinical topics. The quality and practice issues categories include information about chronic care models, patient registry tutorials, electronic medical records, and patient education.

The Patient Resources area is organized into three categories: prevention and diagnosis, managing the disease, and managing complications. Patients can rate content, share comments, and access multimedia information.

The COPD Portal is part of ACP's efforts to improve the awareness, treatment, and control of COPD and to educate primary care physicians on the evidence-based standards of care.

"COPD kills more than 120,000 Americans each year," said Dr. Weinberger. "The best way to prevent COPD is to not start smoking or to quit smoking before the disease develops."

The term COPD includes both emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Physicians often use the broader term COPD, since affected patients frequently have components of both conditions. The symptoms of COPD range from chronic cough and wheezing to more severe symptoms such as shortness of breath and significant activity limitation.

The ACP COPD Portal is supported through unrestricted educational grants from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Pfizer, Inc.

About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 126,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illness in adults.