The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2011 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Lindsey McLemore, Joyce Baker; Respiratory Care, Colorado Children's Hospital, Aurora, CO

Developing an Asthma Action Plan and Improving Documentation Compliance Specific to the Emergency Department Background: Over the past three years the asthma action plan has been one of the primary educational tools provided to patients and families in an effort to help them better manage the disease at home. We have found that patients seen in the emergency room are not always well controlled and need to be seen by the primary care physician for ongoing management of asthma. In recognizing this challenge, we found that it may be beneficial to develop an action plan that would be specific to the medications the patient is discharged home from the emergency room on, specifically with the acute medication. Methods: To increase education done in the emergency room we provided therapists continuing education surrounding educating families and documenting education. The asthma action plan we were using in the beginning of this process was the same one that is used in the inpatient setting. Many of our patients seen in the emergency room do not yet have diagnoses of asthma. Due to this, physicians were prescribing the patient a quick relief inhaler and stressing follow up for symptoms. We evolved the action plan to leave out the diagnosis of asthma and encourage follow up with the primary care physician or clinic; this put families and the medical team at ease because we were able to provide education to families, and teach them how and when to use an inhaler. The role of the respiratory therapist was to complete the action plan and provide education to any family being sent home with an inhaler. A random monthly chart audit was completed on patients who were seen in the emergency room and managed for asthma symptoms. The number of patients audited varied due to varying patient acuity and patient census. Results: Over the course of the past 10 months, with assertive education with staff and modifications in the asthma action plan we have increased completion of "asthma" action plans from 0 percent to an overall average of 73 percent. Additionally, we improved the amount of documented education from 0 percent to an overall average of 85 percent. Conclusion: We have been able to provide families with asthma education. To do this we have educated staff, performed chart audits and followed up with staff to address their concerns. We evolved the action plan in order to better serve the emergency room patient population.
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