Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Advancing Asthma Control

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has awarded thirteen contracts to local organizations to develop, implement, and test science-based approaches to improve asthma control by using evidence-based national guidelines to help diagnose and manage asthma. The two year contracts, totaling $1.3 million will be administered by the Academy for Educational development based in Washington D.C., which serves as a contractor for NHLBI’s National Asthma Control Initiative (NACI).

Each of the new projects will receive $100,000 over two years to implement and evaluate strategies to improve asthma control. The projects in general will address diverse communities including rural, urban, or suburban settings. Strategies can target healthcare providers, adult and pediatric patients, or patients’ families, school personnel, and others who play a role in helping patients to manage asthma.

For example, specific demonstration projects may include:

• Developing web-based training programs and in-person educational outreach for healthcare providers, patients, parents, other childcare providers, and educators

• Developing a standardized electronic assessment form to use to improve communication between emergency care providers and primary care physicians to better coordinate patient care and to reduce emergency room visits.

Outcomes from the demonstration projects will be shared through the NACI in order to promote the adoption of asthma guidelines and to improve the quality of asthma care nationwide. The NACI will bring together organizations from local, regional, and national levels to share best practices, leverage resources, identify new directions, and to create learning opportunities.