Contact: Erin Hardin
Bartlett Regional Hospital has expanded its pulmonary rehabilitation program to include a fully remote option for patients who suffer from long-term effects of COVID-19 or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Bartlett currently offers in-person outpatient cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs to improve patient heart and lung health.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a structured exercise program for people with lung diseases. Elements of pulmonary rehabilitation include exercise training, education on managing lung disease, and education on developing healthy habits.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the increased need for delivery of virtual health care, particularly for patients with preexisting chronic lung disease who as a result are at an increased risk of severe COVID-19. A growing body of evidence shows that home-based pulmonary rehabilitation programs can be feasible and effective in improving exercise capacity, reducing breathlessness, and improving quality of life. Further, telehealth can help to reduce health disparities and barriers to care, such as lack of access to transportation and proximity to specialists due to geographic isolation.
Telehealth pulmonary rehabilitation is a live and interactive online class, which allows patients to exercise and receive education and support from the comfort of their own home, under the guidance of a registered respiratory therapist and exercise physiologist.
Patients with COPD and post COVID-19 symptoms that include difficulty breathing for over four weeks may be eligible to enroll. Provider referral is required. Individuals interested in receiving more information are encouraged to talk to their primary healthcare provider or contact Bartlett’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Team at CPrehab@bartletthospital.org or (907) 796-8495.