Improving Timely Diagnosis
American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST)
Timely and accurate diagnosis for Interstitial Lung Diseases (ILDs) remains a challenge despite scientific advancements and increased information sharing online. One of the most common ILDs is Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) and by the time most patients learn they have PF, the condition may require reliance on oxygen use, hospitalizations, and can lead to poor quality of life, and a significantly shortened lifespan. Diagnosis delays can reduce a patient’s treatment options increasing the necessity to have the condition diagnosed in its earliest stages.
Three Lakes Foundation has partnered with CHEST to collaborate on a wide-ranging initiative to reduce delays in diagnoses for ILDs like PF through a series of strategies. A steering committee has been created comprising of primary care physicians and ILD experts, this initiative will:
Identify the gaps in making timely diagnoses of interstitial lung diseases such as PF
Create a tool to improve diagnosis of ILD and PF
Educate clinicians on how to use the tool
Evaluate and measure the effectiveness of the program and its impact on diagnosis
Members of the steering committee include Mary Beth Scholand, MD, who is Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Diseases, Director, Interstitial Lung Program, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT. Other committee members will be announced at a later date. Through discussions with pulmonologists, primary care physicians and healthcare systems, Three Lakes Foundation and CHEST will look to drastically improve the time to diagnosis for PF and other respiratory diseases.
Time to Diagnosis and Earlier Detection
PF is a progressive and fatal lung disease. Most patients are referred to pulmonary physicians and other experts late in the course of their disease.
Influence of Inhaled Exposures in PF
Interstitial Lung Diseases (ILDs) are associated with inhaled environmental and occupational exposures, including air pollution, second-hand smoke, vapors, gases, dusts, and fumes.