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New Report Offers Asthma Implementation Strategies

February 05, 2009

A new report, based on the EPR3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma, addresses recommendations and strategies for overcoming the barriers to implementation of those Guidelines. AARC was represented on the Guidelines Implementation Panel, which offers six key messages to promote acceptance and utilization of the NHLBI clinical practice guidelines for asthma.

The Guidelines Implementation Panel was charged with developing an action plan for all who are the Guideline’s end users, including respiratory therapists and other medical professionals. They have been at work since 2005; this report was published in December 2008.

Tom Kallstrom, RRT, AE-C, who is the AARC’s Chief Operating Officer, sat on the panel that developed these implementing strategies. “Respiratory therapists are key to the success of implementing the EPR3 Guidelines.” Kallstrom said that most respiratory therapists are already well aware of the six strategies identified in the implementation report, but should acquaint themselves with those messages in order to promote their universal acceptance.

Those messages are:

  • Inhaled corticosteroids are the most effective medications for long-term management of asthma.
  • All patients should have a written asthma action plan to guide their self-management.
  • All patients should have an initial severity assessment.
  • All patients should be scheduled for planned followup visits at periodic intervals.
  • At those visits, patients should talk about their level of control, through a review of symptom patterns and PEF measures.
  • Clinicians should review each patient’s exposure to allergens and irritants and provide a strategy for reduction.

The 46-page report, called Partners Putting Guidelines Into Action, is available as a free download or may be ordered for a fee.

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