An asthma annual spirometry testing quality improvement project
Abraham, Melissa Lynn
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Asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. In the United States, 7.6% of adults are living with asthma, and the prevalence of asthma in Montana is 9.1% for adults. The aim for asthma management is to help people living with asthma maintain a better quality of life. In order to bridge the gap in care and provide access to asthma management, more providers need to be well-versed and equipped to meet these needs. Research shows spirometry testing helps a provider diagnose and understand the severity of a patient's asthma symptoms. The purpose of this project is to determine if implementation of a quality improvement (QI) project in clinical practice will improve annual spirometry testing for asthma patients. A 2.5-hour asthma diagnosis and management course was provided for staff implementing spirometry testing and a retrospective chart analysis was conducted, continued support over the course of a twelve-month project period and workflow changes were implemented to facilitate change. The outcome measure focused on was spirometry testing, with a goal of 85% of patients with asthma to receive annual spirometry testing. A survey was given to determine the staff's perspective on implementing the QI project. The QI project increased annual spirometry testing by 37% post intervention. Staff found the education informative and the workflow changes beneficial to improving patient care to meet the national asthma guidelines. Changes to workflow in clinical practice using a QI project could benefit future clinical practice.