The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Helen M. Murphy1,2, David Williams2,1; 1Respiratory Care, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO; 2Quality Improvement, Center for Clinical Effectiveness, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO

Background: The asthma educational process typically provides education at the bedside by the Respiratory Therapist (RT). This approach leads to variable content and can consume considerable RT time. To improve consistency, an Asthma Class was provided prior to hospital discharge. We hypothesize that an Asthma Class will improve patients/caregivers’ comfort and preparedness in managing asthma at home, while reducing time spent by the RT with caregivers; thereby, leading to cost savings. Methods: The Asthma Class was given by the Asthma Coordinator every other week day. The RT reviewed only the individualized Asthma Action Plan prior to discharge. Structured surveys were given to all attendees before the class (pre) and directly after the class (post). RT time spent on education with participants/nonparticipants was documented to permit comparisons of time-savings and crude estimates of cost-savings. Difference in proportion, Wilcoxon tests, and Mann-Whitney estimates of effect size (ES) were computed using Stata 11.2. Results: Between 02/2011-02/2012, 320 caregivers and/or parents responded to the survey. Caregivers taking the class reported: Greater comfort managing asthma at home (p < 0.0001; ES=0.42); believed they know what to do during an asthma attack (p < 0.0001; ES=0.53); believed that they learned something new about asthma management (p < 0.0001; ES=0.98). Documented time spent by the RT with caregivers and patients decreased by an average of ~3 minutes (p < 0.0001; ES=0.41). RT consults after the classes were on average $1.24 per patient less than those of patients/caregivers that did not attend a class. Conclusion: The Asthma Class has proven to be successful in reducing RT time and effectively delivering asthma education to patients/families. Additional study is needed to measure the full benefits of classes to include improved patient outcomes, improved patient quality of life, and other potential benefits Sponsored Research - None