Reducing the COPD RSRR in Veteran Patients

Hannah Figucia Griffith, BS, Get Well Client Success Manager 

Almost 16 million people in the US suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), also known as emphysema or chronic bronchitis, with symptoms that include frequent coughing or wheezing, excess mucus production and shortness of breath1. There is an increased prevalence of COPD in older adults over the age of 65, positioning the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) as a critical provider of COPD screening, education and treatment for their service population in the US. 

The VHA provides evidence-based treatment to Veterans with COPD in order to optimize physiological, physical, and psychological health. These treatments and interventions are comprehensively described in the Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines.2 

To address this increase in COPD, in 2023, a Southeast-based VA Medical Center partnered with Get Well to decrease the COPD Risk-Standardized Readmission Rate (RSRR), as measured by their Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning (SAIL) score. In collaboration with a variety of departments within the facility, the Patient Education team ultimately identified COPD patient education video assignment & completion as an area of improvement to address. After compiling and reviewing nurse feedback, we concluded the most effective pathway to lift the video assignment & completion was by focusing on “In Services”. 

A key success factor with any technology is extensive and regular training. “In Services” at the VHA are clinical training sessions hosted by a Get Well team member. The first step of the process was ensuring that nurses knew where to find and how to assign COPD education videos to their patients. In Service trainings were scheduled and launched with Nurse Managers at this Southeast-based VA Medical Center in January 2023. The training sessions highlighted the three options for assignable video education: CPRS, QuickCare, and Management Console (Get Well platform). We performed a step-by-step walkthrough for each assignment option reviewing where to locate the videos from a nursing dashboard, as well as how to push the education through to the patient. 

We commenced our In Service training program for COPD at the start of 2023. Video assignment & completion data was continuously collected & stored, which allowed periodic review of our progress. By the end of Q1 2023, 91 COPD education videos were completed by Veterans at the facility. The following quarter, 113 COPD education videos were completed, resulting in a quarter-over-quarter improvement of almost 25%.3

While increasing the number of completed COPD education videos is a strong win, our focus was on our facility’s SAIL score in Risk-Standardized Readmission Rate (RSRR) for COPD. In Q1 2023, the facility reported a COPD RSRR of 17.98. In Q2 2023, the reported COPD RSRR

was 17.01, resulting in a 5.4% decrease in one quarter. Our team continued offering COPD In Service sessions through the end of 2023.

With Get Well’s innovative solutions, healthcare organizations have the power to revolutionize patient experiences, reduce clinician burden, and adapt their approaches in real time. Get Well remains committed to collaborating with facilities of all sizes to provide customizable solutions that meet their unique needs and contribute to the optimization of care for deserving Veterans.

To learn more about Get Well’s solutions for Veteran care, visit our site:

  1. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), 2023. Available from:,Americans%20who%20have%20this%20disease. Accessed April 9, 2024.
  2. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease 2023 Report: GOLD Executive Summary, 2023. Available from: Accessed April 16, 2024.
  3. Data note: Number of  COPD education videos assigned: FY23Q1 = 194, FY23Q2 = 217