Asthma continues to be one of the most prevalent chronic lung diseases and growing health concerns in the state of Texas. Asthma, a potentially deadly illness, affects the lungs and causes the airways to become inflamed and swollen, and surrounding muscles to tighten. Symptoms include episodes of coughing, chest tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath.
According to the Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 2005, an estimated 1.5 million (6.8 percent) adult Texans and 458 thousand (7.3 percent) children 0-17 years of age currently report having asthma. Also, an estimated 2.5 million (11.1 percent) adult Texans and 728 thousand (11.6 percent) children report having had asthma during their lifetime.
In addition, asthma has had a significant economic impact on the state of Texas. According to the Texas Health Care Information Collection in 2004, hospital discharges listing asthma as the principle diagnosis and other diagnoses account for about $353 million in total charges.
The Texas Asthma Plan serves as a planning tool to initiate asthma activities in the state of Texas. The 2007-2010 Edition contains issue items with updated goals and action steps specific to regional areas throughout Texas.
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Asthma medications should be available for over-the-counter use: con.
Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2014 Jul;11(6):975-9
Authors: Milgram LJ
The United States Food and Drug Administration recently considered a policy to transfer inhaled short-acting bronchodilators to over-the-counter status if conditions of safe use can be established. The American Thoracic Society filed a comment in opposition to the proposal. This article examines the negative consequences that might result from allowing nonprescription access to bronchodilators and other inhaled asthma medications. Such a proposed policy change conflicts directly with current guidelines for asthma management and would undermine efforts to achieve adequate asthma control in patients. In addition, a policy change to convert asthma medications to over-the-counter status could result in increased costs to patients as well as increased health care costs to society overall due to a worsening of asthma control in the population.
PMID: 24964175 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Asthma medications should be available for over-the-counter use: pro.
Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2014 Jul;11(6):969-74
Authors: Gerald JK, Wechsler ME, Martinez FD
Medications that provide quick relief of symptoms and that control airway inflammation are the mainstays of asthma treatment. However, adherence to these medications is suboptimal. The inconvenience and costs associated with obtaining these prescription-only medications are factors that contribute to poor adherence. The Food and Drug Administration recently requested public comment on a new paradigm whereby specific prescription-only medications could be made available over the counter, provided that conditions for their safe use could be established. Many organizations expressed opposition, including the American Thoracic Society and other societies representing patients with respiratory diseases. These organizations cited unsubstantiated benefits and unnecessary risks as reasons to oppose greater over-the-counter availability of current prescription-only medications. This article examines the rationale for, and potential ramifications of, making asthma medications available for nonprescription use.
PMID: 24964037 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
A systematic review of the implementation and impact of asthma protocols.
BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2014;14:82
Authors: Dexheimer JW, Borycki EM, Chiu KW, Johnson KB, Aronsky D
BACKGROUND: Asthma is one of the most common childhood illnesses. Guideline-driven clinical care positively affects patient outcomes for care. There are several asthma guidelines and reminder methods for implementation to help integrate them into clinical workflow. Our goal is to determine the most prevalent method of guideline implementation; establish which methods significantly improved clinical care; and identify the factors most commonly associated with a successful and sustainable implementation.
METHODS: PUBMED (MEDLINE), OVID CINAHL, ISI Web of Science, and EMBASE.
STUDY SELECTION: Studies were included if they evaluated an asthma protocol or prompt, evaluated an intervention, a clinical trial of a protocol implementation, and qualitative studies as part of a protocol intervention. Studies were excluded if they had non-human subjects, were studies on efficacy and effectiveness of drugs, did not include an evaluation component, studied an educational intervention only, or were a case report, survey, editorial, letter to the editor.
RESULTS: From 14,478 abstracts, we included 101 full-text articles in the analysis. The most frequent study design was pre-post, followed by prospective, population based case series or consecutive case series, and randomized trials. Paper-based reminders were the most frequent with fully computerized, then computer generated, and other modalities. No study reported a decrease in health care practitioner performance or declining patient outcomes. The most common primary outcome measure was compliance with provided or prescribing guidelines, key clinical indicators such as patient outcomes or quality of life, and length of stay.
CONCLUSIONS: Paper-based implementations are by far the most popular approach to implement a guideline or protocol. The number of publications on asthma protocol reminder systems is increasing. The number of computerized and computer-generated studies is also increasing. Asthma guidelines generally improved patient care and practitioner performance regardless of the implementation method.
PMID: 25204381 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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