Major Components of an Asthma Disease Management Programme
Liza C. O'Dowd
Reynold A. Jr Panettieri
In an effort to improve patient outcomes and reduce resource use and costs associated with asthma care, asthma disease management programmes have now gained momentum. If a programme is to be effective, the identification of goals and outcomes relevant to the target populations is essential. These may include strategies aimed at reducing the use of resources, improving patient symptom scores and quality-of-life measures, or normalising pulmonary function. Methods to measure such outcomes should be developed in the design phase of the programme. The best practice model for asthma care incorporates a multidisciplinary approach, using asthma care specialists, case managers, primary care physicians and nurse educators to target `high-risk' asthmatics. The key interventions include incorporating clinical pathways developed from evidence-based guidelines, patient education and removal of obstacles to care and adherence. Assessment of outcomes and continuous efforts to improve quality are needed to make the programme cost effective.
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