Exhale and Breathe Easier: A Conversation with Mary Smith

Respiratory Therapists play an integral role to support pulmonary recovery and respiratory function. Our Exhale Program will follow the patient until no longer indicated, from the moment they come into the facility until the time they leave. We are able to work with Pulmonologists and other Physicians to set goals and treatment plans.

Recently we connected with Mary Smith, Director of Clinical Operations for Exhale, to learn more about her role and how the program supports those we serve. Keep reading below to learn more.

Q: Please describe your role as the Director of Clinical Operations for the Exhale program.
A: My primary role is to connect facilities and patients with respiratory services. We are very passionate about what we do and that is to prevent re-hospitalizations and chronic pneumonia, offer bedside respiratory assessments and provide all capabilities that hospitals provide but in a non-hospital setting.

Our goal is to treat and manage pulmonary exacerbations and short-term and long-term diseases or viruses. Our education spans from equipment, such as CPAP, BIPAP, oxygen devices, to tracheostomy care, oral hygiene and more. We work side-by-side with facility staff, provide education and support to their team and patients’ health and well-being.

Q: What should clinicians consider when addressing the needs of patients receiving cardio-pulmonary rehab or utilizing high acuity interventions?
A: With the world in a pandemic for many months now, everyone is struggling with having a fully-staffed team. Clinicians need to consider bronchial hygiene to prevent infections and complete regular equipment checks on CPAPs, BIPAPs and concentrators.

Q: How does the Exhale program help support patients?
A: When patients participate in the Exhale program, we ensure to provide the services and tools that improve pulmonary and cardiovascular functions. Improvements in such areas give patients a chance to reach clinical stability and have a better quality of life, not to mention a reduced risk of re-hospitalization.

Through the Exhale program, a Respiratory Therapist is available 24/7 to provide intensive support, whether it is to answer a simple question or to do a full assessment at the bedside or virtually. Providing a person-centered approach to solving key issues, such as ensuring clinicians have the proper resources, including masks, functioning equipment is vital.

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