Children's Asthma Care

Published On 07/11/2011

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs and airways that affects a large number of our patients. Symptoms include wheezing, cough, chest tightness and shortness of breath. To treat asthma we prescribe two types of medications:

  • Controllers, daily medications that help prevent the airway from swelling
  • Relievers, or “rescue” medications that are taken once an asthma attack begins.

Our goal is to help our patients and their families better control asthma symptoms, and to reduce how often a child is hospitalized due to a severe asthma attack.

Together with our families, we have developed a three-step quality program, Children’s Asthma Care, to better educate and control asthma symptoms at home.

Why our asthma care program matters

There are three components of Children’s Asthma Care.

The first two steps monitor whether our patients with asthma who are admitted to the hospital are receiving appropriate medications to prevent (controller medications) and treat (reliever medications) asthma. These medications are given in the hospital and continued at home when patients leave the hospital.

The third component is the Home Plan of Care, a written plan that our patients follow at home to identify medications, triggers and actions to take when symptoms arise. Common triggers for children with asthma are pollen, dust mites, pet dander and pollution.

How we measure

All three of the components of the Children’s Asthma Care are equally important. We measure and report how we provide reliever and controller medications to our patients while they are in the hospital. We also measure compliance with our Home Plan of Care. The “Appropriate Care Score” (ACS) for asthma measures how often all of the three steps are completed for each patient. We are continually making improvements to increase our Appropriate Care Score.

We have several staff members, called Abstractors who are trained to read patient charts and find specific information related to children’s asthma care. Each month, they select a random sample of patients who have been in the hospital with asthma. They review those charts to make sure we provided the patient with appropriate asthma care.

Our Performance

  • 100 percent compliance with Relievers
  • 100 percent compliance with Controllers
  • 98.9 percent compliance with Home Plan of Care
  • 98.8 percent overall Appropriate Care Score for 2014

What we are doing to improve Children’s Asthma Care

  • Continually monitoring compliance
  • Investigating situations when we are not compliant
  • Educating patients and families to each patient’s Home Plan of Care
  • Evaluating and refining the Home Plan of Care form to make sure it contains all the information it needs