A Patient-Centered Plan for Care
Though there is no cure for asthma, there are many ways to manage asthma effectively. The relationship between patients and their healthcare providers serves as a bridge of information that can strengthen patient knowledge and reinforce each individual’s asthma treatment plan. Creating a safe environment that allows for patients to express their concerns and questions paves the way for improved communication and understanding. As part of the healthcare team, patients must understand and appreciate their vital role in their own healthcare. Additionally, it is important for providers to reassess this relationship at every visit.
The Asthma Action Plan
Asthma action plans are tools healthcare providers can use to help optimize a patient’s asthma control. Utilizing an asthma plan as part of patient education and management has potential to reduce number of missed school/work days, unscheduled clinic visits and hospitalizations. Additionally, providing asthma action plans to patients empower them to prevent their symptoms from worsening and take their prescribed controller/rescue medications as indicated. The 5 effective elements of asthma action plans include the following1:
- Recommends doses and schedule of daily medications, and how to adjust them in response to symptoms or peak flow measurements
- Provides written record of patients best peak flow measurement and ranges that help expose situations that may warrant patients to respond accordingly
- Provides warning signs and symptoms that may warrant closer monitoring or acute care
- Provides emergency numbers for healthcare providers, emergency departments, transportation methods, and other relevant information needed for patients in an emergency
- Provides a list of triggers that potentially cause asthma attacks for the patient, allowing them access to a list of items to avoid
Below, please view an example of an asthma action plan:
- Rance KS. J Multidisip Healthc. 2011;4:299-309.