Education for Health/National Respiratory Training Center
“The asthma community is comprised of a diverse, dedicated, and active group of stakeholders. Improving asthma control will require active participation, engagement and collaboration amongst these stakeholders.”
Judith Taylor-Fishwick, Ph.D.-c., M.S.C., Assistant Professor
East Virginia Medical School, Education for Health (Suffolk, VA)
EPR-3: Medical Providers as Asthma Guideline Implementation Champions (EPR-3 MAGIC) was a practice improvement and leadership program developed by Education for Health, formerly the National Respiratory Training Center. Targeted to nurse practitioners and other mid-level providers who care for patients who have asthma, its continuing medical education program—the Asthma Principles and Practice Course—aimed to put into action the recommendations and key messages of the Expert Panel Report 3–Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma (EPR-3).
Monica Fletcher, CEO, Education for Health
Adapted from several existing education programs, including the Physical Asthma Education (PACE) and Nursing Asthma Education (NACE) programs, the Asthma Principles and Practice Course utilized distance learning, in-person training, practical techniques, and tested tools and educational messages to improve the quality of asthma care delivered by mid-level providers. It also incorporated a leadership development module, designed to prepare and enlist these providers as champions in the dissemination and implementation of the EPR-3 guidelines in their institutions and communities.
In addition to self-study course materials, the Education for Health brought participants together for case-study reviews, role-plays, and small group discussion. Education for Health implemented the Asthma Principles and Practice Course in conjunction with annual meetings of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American College of Nurse Practitioners, and National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and at state and local forums.
- Provide a comprehensive and evidence-based interactive continuing medical education program for mid-level providers.
- Develop and support EPR-3 implementation project champions who will disseminate the guidelines and their implementation at their local level and regional level.
- Evaluate the continuing medical education program to assess impact on practice, performance and patient education.
Challenges & Solutions
Challenge: Working with partner organizations to implement the training program. The biggest challenge that Education for Health faced was adapting its Asthma Principles and Practice Course to different organizational conferences and settings. Different space layouts, audiences, and fees were all factors that staff took into account when preparing to present a training course. In some instances, implementing the course in the usual way was not feasible due to the cost or setting.
Solution: Be flexible when engaging partner organizations. When Education for Health was unable to conduct its training at particular conferences, it found other ways to collaborate with that organization to promote the EPR-3 guidelines. It also pursued and found alternative avenues for hosting the training.
Education for Health exceeded its initial goal of training 350 allied health practitioners through presentations at annual meetings of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American College of Nurse Practitioners, and National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and other sites.
Feedback from Education for Health's trainings was extremely positive. One participant noted, "I had no knowledge of asthma and confused on what medications to give. I now feel 100% better and understand what to give and why." Another participant commented, "Every therapist – NP, MD, MA – seeing asthmatics should take this course."
Education for Health shared and collaborated with additional NACI-funded projects to advance asthma care best practices. For example:
Education for Health teamed with a nurse practitioner who had completed the train-the-trainer program conducted by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), a NACI Strategic Partner. The NAPNAP trainer assisted Education for Health in the presentation of the Asthma Principles and Practice Course.
Education for Health used comprehensive and evidence-based provider education with nurse practitioners and other mid-level providers to promote practice improvement.
Other NACI-funded projects that used Education for Health-type approaches are:
Education for Health
PO Box 5468
Suffolk, VA 23435
Last Updated January 2013