An evidence-based pediatric asthma toolkit for the primary care provider
Uncontrolled asthma has costly health and economic consequences. There is a clear clinical need for better asthma management programs in the pediatric primary care setting (Akinbami et al., 2011; Sleath et al., 2011). The current system for asthma management in primary care offices is not improving outcomes for pediatric asthma patients in the United States or the state of Montana. Barriers to providing comprehensive evidence-based pediatric asthma care exist in the primary care setting nationwide (US DHHS, 2010; & Meyer, 2011). The creation of an evidence-based pediatric asthma toolkit for the primary care provider based on the EPR-3 Asthma Diagnosis and Management Guidelines (NIH, NHLBI, 2007) is an attempt to alleviate prevalent barriers primary care providers face in pediatric asthma care. A toolkit was assembled based on literature reviewed, interviews with experts in the field, and suggestions from primary care providers after reviewing the tool. The toolkit was found to be evidence-based, appropriate for use in the primary care setting, efficient for use in a busy primary care setting, and desired for use by primary care providers in the state based on informal interviews and reviews. It is suggested that the Pediatric Asthma Toolkit for the Primary Care Provider be tested using a formal research study for its' effectiveness in improving pediatric asthma care in the primary care setting as well as improving asthma outcomes in the state of Montana. More research needs to be done in the U.S. to evaluate the effectiveness and use of asthma toolkits by primary care providers. The toolkit will need to be updated when new research is published on asthma care as well as when new national asthma guidelines are issued. The toolkit will also need to be updated with current available pharmaceuticals and devices for asthma. This professional project is in alignment with the national Asthma Control Goals for Healthy People 2020 as well as the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program recommendations for implementation of the EPR-3 Guidelines. It is also in alignment with the Montana Asthma Control Program's goals to create partnerships throughout the state and improve asthma outcomes for Montana.