Many children with asthma are no strangers to hospitals. The numbers are alarming. In 2009, asthma accounted for 774,000 hospitalizations and emergency room visits among children under the age of 15, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
A new study released June 16 revealed that children in the hospital with asthma were less likely to be hospitalized again if they regularly took their asthma medications, developed a management plan with a doctor, and received follow-up care with a designated primary care provider.
For parents, these findings show the importance of follow-up appointments and continued asthma care after hospitalization. For physicians, it supports the model of a designated health care team – a patient-centered medical home – for patients.
The study, published in the July 2014 issue of Pediatrics, was conducted at a hospital in Hawaii and tracked children ages 2-18 hospitalized due to asthma.
Allergy & Asthma Network has long advocated for this type of care and earlier this year partnered with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to expand on AAP’s Medical Home Chapter Champions Program on Asthma. In addition to asthma, the program will now include allergy and anaphylaxis care.
The Medical Home Chapter Champions Program on Asthma supports the concept of a team-based, coordinated approach to care that includes patients and their families, primary care doctors and pediatric allergists.
The partnership will help Allergy & Asthma Network encourage patient referrals and shared resources among pediatricians and asthma and allergy specialists across the United States. It will help combat the continuing readmission of children with asthma into hospitals and keep them in school.
Keep an eye out for Understanding Asthma: Building Blocks for Better Breathing, which takes patients on a journey from diagnosis to treatment to symptom management – in easy-to-understand, medically accurate language. The publication is available starting in mid-July 2014.