- Volume 1 | April 2010
- Not on our list? Subscribe now!
GIP in Focus
Six Steps Toward Transforming a Life
“We have the opportunity to bring a breath of fresh air into asthma treatment, and create an environment that truly supports excellent patient-centered asthma care,” said Kurtis S. Elward M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.F.P.
A family physician and Associate Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Elward has been on the forefront of streamlining asthma assessment and treatment across Virginia and nationally.
In his own Charlottesville-based practice, he enhanced efficiency by grouping asthma patient visits on specific “Asthma Days,” enabling better care coordination at every point in the process and improving patient outcomes as a result.
Dr. Elward also is one of 17 diverse members of the Guidelines Implementation Panel (GIP), convened by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s National Asthma Education and Prevention Panel Coordinating Committee (NAEPP) in 2006.
The NAEPP tasked the panel with identifying barriers to the use of the clinical practice recommendations of the Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma (EPR-3), and creating strategies to jump those hurdles.
“The GIP’s intent was to find ways of conveying the key messages of the guidelines—in ways people could grasp and use them, and to create a practical implementation framework that would effectively bring all the key players together,” said Dr. Elward.
And was the GIP able to do it?
The resulting Guidelines Implementation Panel (GIP) Report: Partners Putting Guidelines into Actionoutlines practical ways to implement the guidelines in order to ultimately improve the quality of life for all Americans with asthma, especially those who carry a heavier asthma burden because of gaps in care and management.
Recognizing that it will take public awareness and support to reach this goal, GIP members took the novel approach of crafting key recommendations that speak to a broad array of community members, including patients, caregivers, health professionals, educators, decision-makers, concerned citizens, and others. Following are the GIP’s six priority guideposts to better asthma care and management:
- Assess asthma severity at the first visit to determine initial treatment.
- Assess asthma control at each visit and adjust treatment if needed.
- Schedule follow-up visits periodically to monitor asthma control.
- Use inhaled corticosteroids daily for long-term control of persistent asthma.
- Use written asthma action plans to guide patient self-management.
- Control exposure to allergens and irritants that worsen the patient’s asthma.
Stay tuned to upcoming editions of NACI in the Know to look at how both individuals and entire communities are helping transform the lives of people with asthma by putting these messages into practice.
As Dr. Elward said: “No one person or program has the single key to asthma—it really needs to be a multi-faceted, multi-partner campaign. We need all the players with all their skills and resources on the field.”