Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Fights Pediatric Asthma
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Nov. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., has developed key programs to combat pediatric asthma. The disease causes more than 3,500 asthma-related visits each at year at Le Bonheur and is the hospital’s most common diagnosis.
In July, the hospital received a $2.9 million Health Care Innovation Award from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to fight asthma in the community. The award was granted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to Le Bonheur’s Community Health and Well-Being division in partnership with The University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
Called CHAMP (Changing High-Risk Asthma in Memphis through Partnership), the program aims to reduce deaths from pediatric asthma, reduce ED and urgent care visits, reduce avoidable hospitalizations and reduce asthma exacerbations or episodes. It also hopes to improve quality of life for these patients and lower overall health care costs for these patients by more than $4 million. The program will accomplish these goals through improved information sharing among health care providers, improved coordination of care, increased rate of asthma self-management and a greater engagement of the community’s key stakeholders.
“The program will help us close the loop in the continuity of care these children receive after they leave Le Bonheur,” said Le Bonheur President and CEO Meri Armour. “The community-based program will also allow us to build an asthma registry for high-risk asthma patients, which we can use to study and evaluate our evidence-based treatments and new approaches to care delivery.”
Le Bonheur launched an effort to reduce emergency department visits for children with asthma in August 2010 and is already seeing promising results.
The hospital’s specific efforts to reduce asthma ED visits include continued compliance with the Children’s Asthma Care (CAC) indicator requirements. A program created by the Joint Commission in collaboration with other children’s health care organizations, the CAC requires that asthma patients be discharged with an Asthma Home Plan of Care and a scheduled follow-up appointment. Before discharge, asthma education is provided by a respiratory therapist. The therapist reviews the patient’s specific triggers with the patient and his or her family, goes over any prescribed medications and demonstrates their proper administration. After discharge, a nurse from Le Bonheur’s pulmonary unit follows up with the patient’s family to ensure all prescriptions have been filled and the patient was seen at follow-up appointments.
According to the data, since the project’s initiation, 95 percent of patients filled their prescriptions after discharge, and 72 percent attended their follow-up appointments.
“We have already seen an increase in compliance with our patients obtaining prescribed medication and attending their follow-up appointment,” said Shayla Williamson, RN, clinical director of the Pulmonary Unit at Le Bonheur. “This is already helping decrease these patients’ ED visits.”
About Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital
Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., treats more than 250,000 children each year in a 255-bed hospital that features state-of-the-art technology and family-friendly resources. Nationally recognized, Le Bonheur is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a Best Children’s Hospital. Serving as a primary teaching affiliate for the University Tennessee Health Science Center, the hospital trains more pediatricians than any other hospital in the state. For more information, please call (901) 287-6030 or visit lebonheur.org. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/lebonheurchild or like us at Facebook at facebook.com/lebonheurchildrens.
SOURCE Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital