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Quality Network Newsletter

June 2009

Table of Contents

Program Update             
Asthma News
Clinical Update
Asthma Tools and Resources


Program Update

MaineHealth Asthma Educator speaks at the EPA's National Asthma Forum
Rhonda Vosmus, the asthma educator at MMC, spoke at the National Asthma Forum in early June.  Click here  to read Rhonda's summary of her presentation and the conference.

AH! Shares Innovations with Others Across the Country
The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) selected the AH! Asthma Health Program to be profiled in the May 11, 2009 issue of the AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange Web site (www.innovations.ahrq.gov). The Health Care Innovations Exchange is an AHRQ program designed to support health care professionals in sharing and adopting innovations that improve the delivery of care to patients. On this site, you will find innovative strategies and quality-related tools as well as learn how to improve an organization's ability to innovate and adopt new ideas, and interact with innovators and adopters. 

AH! Program staff participated in the development of the profile, Hospital-Based Asthma Educators Train Patients, Providers, and Community Members on Optimal Care, Leading to Fewer Admissions, Emergency Department Visits, and Missed Work Days  and is honored to share their work with others through this national website.  Click on http://www.innovations.ahrq.gov/ to read and comment on the AH! profile.

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Asthma News

Working to educate business leaders and legislators about the impact of asthma on the people of Maine
The American Lung Association with help from the Maine Asthma Program of the MaineCDC has developed a brochure targeted to business leaders and legislators with the message and supporting data that uncontrolled asthma results in higher healthcare utilization costs. The brochure informs the audience regarding how asthma can be controlled and includes an action checklist and resources for more information. Click here to view the brochure.  Please help to distribute this brochure to the targeted audience. Contact Angela Mowatt  for copies of the brochure.

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Clinical Update

Asthma in Pregnancy
Click here   to read this article in the April 30, 2009 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. The study concludes that although uncontrolled asthma may increase the risk of adverse perinatal outcomes, women with well-controlled asthma in pregnancy generally have good pregnancy outcomes. 

Home use of abuterol for asthma exacerbations
In this article in the June 2009 issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, caregivers reported that they would use albuterol to treat their child's worsening asthma symptoms, but many described inappropriate use. Detailed evaluation of proper albuterol use at home may provide insight into how health care professionals can better educate and support parents in their management of acute exacerbations and more effective use of AAPs.  To read the article, click here 

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Asthma Tools and Resources

Asthma Inhaled Medication list updated again
As asthma medications are added and changed, the asthma inhaled medications chart for controller and quick-relief is revised so that you have the latest information.  The chart includes age recommendations, doses, strengths and priming procedures.  If you haven't used this tool before,
click here  to download a copy.  For J.S. McCarthy users, a laminated form is available on their website: www.jsmccarthy.com/mainehealth.

Tell Your Patients about the new Lung Health Check
The COPD Foundation and WebMD have collaborated to develop Lung Health Check, an educational tool to support patients who have breathing problems and their families. The Lung Health Check teaches the key symptoms and risks of developing lung disease and suggests appropriate steps to take to prevent or manage disease. This tool offers a quick check on the effects that a breathing problem is having on a person's life, and suggestions both for those already diagnosed with a lung problem and those with respiratory symptoms as yet undiagnosed. The Lung Health Check will not give out medical advice, but is intended to serve as an educational resource and tool.  Click on their website to give it a try: www.webmd.com/lung-disease-health-check. 

For other patient education materials for COPD; GOLD guidelines and other clinical tools, go to: www.mainehealth.org/copd .  For J.S.McCarthy users, multiple copies can be ordered at www.jsmccarthy.com/mainehealth.

Connecting the Dots:  Asthma, Obesity and Tobacco
The AH! Asthma Health Program is connecting with partners in Let's Go and The Maine Tobacco HelpLine as our data shows that these 3 health issues co-exist in many of our patients.  By referring your patients to an asthma educator, who is collaborating with these partners, you are helping to provide the patient with a more comprehensive approach to their health.  Click here  for the latest issue of AH! Asthma Annals to see this data and for a FAX referral form for asthma education.
 
School Nurse Contact Information Available
Click here  to access the Maine School Nurses Association website which provides town names alphabetically, the school name, address, phone, FAX, school nurse name and email address. This information can be very helpful when you need to send your patient's asthma action plan to the school nurse at the child's school.

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