One focus of the updated COPD audit is understanding why so many patients have a misdiagnosis of COPD. One contributing factor; of those coming into hospital with COPD exacerbations, less than 40% had any confirmatory spirometry available to the clinician. The diagnosis was being assumed, and they were being labelled as COPD and discharged with this new label. Even more concerning, in those patients who DID have spirometry records, 11% of these cases had spirometry that was not compatible with a diagnosis of COPD.
If you’re a hospital clinician, don’t underestimate the impact that the wrong diagnosis in hospital has on the patient and on primary care