The COPD Foundation (COPDF) today announced that its toll-free, HIPAA-compliant Call Our Patients Direct (C.O.P.D.) Information Line has achieved significant milestones, reaching 30,000 individuals in 2011, communicating in 175+ languages including English, Spanish, French and Italian, and providing one-on-one assistance to individuals with COPD, their family members and caregivers. Operated by a team of professional, highly trained, peer-to-peer patients and caregivers, the contact center provides secure, confidential assistance, education and support to individuals who want to learn more about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including pulmonary rehabilitation, compliance and disease management.
“When the C.O.P.D. Information Line began, it was a group of volunteers who wanted to help others struggling with COPD,” says John W. Walsh, president of the COPD Foundation. “The more people we helped, the more inspired we became to expand and reach more individuals with COPD. Our call center professionals play a vital role in the COPD community, reaching out to others, sharing personal experiences and providing a high level of support and knowledge.”
Each contact center Associate receives rigorous 30-hour instruction on customer service, service to sales, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), COPD Foundation programs and research initiatives.
“Thirteen years ago, when I was diagnosed with COPD, I was faced with trying to learn about the disease at a time when very little information was available,” says Pam DeNardo, Director of Recruitment & Training, C.O.P.D. Information Line. “This kind of call center, coupled with our associates’ dedication and depth of experience, is rare in the world of healthcare.”
The mission of the COPD Foundation is to develop and support programs, which improve the quality of life through research, education, early diagnosis, and enhanced therapy for persons whose lives are impacted by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The C.O.P.D. Information Line, 866-316-COPD (2673), is a toll-free number for information and referrals on COPD, offering callers access to peer-to-peer patients and caregiver associates.