Improving the quality of diagnostic spirometry in adults
This week sees the publication of a competency assessment framework for diagnostic spirometry.
Spirometry is one of the essential lung function investigations in the diagnosis, severity assessment and monitoring of many respiratory conditions. It has to be performed to a high standard, otherwise the diagnosis might be wrong—resulting in patients receiving inappropriate treatments (which could be harmful) as well as wasteful.
So diagnostic spirometry should be both quality-assured and only performed and interpreted by professionals assessed as competent against recognised standards.
The framework sets out the new arrangements, which will be phased in from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2021. It should be used alongside the Guide to Performing Quality Assured Diagnostic Spirometry, published in 2013, which describes how high quality diagnostic spirometry could be delivered and outlines the standards required.
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