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May 31, 2011

NACI In the Know eAlert

Championing Asthma Guidelines and Actions: Five Organizations Take the Lead

The National Asthma Control Initiative (NACI)—an initiative of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP), coordinated by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute—extends its congratulations to five organizations that have been selected to be NACI Clinical Champions. 

These organizations are tasked with taking to the next level their existing NACI efforts to promote the distribution and use of the six key messages from the NAEPP’s Guidelines Implementation Panel (GIP) Report. The guidelines are based on a full range of evidence-based recommendations from the Expert Panel Report 3–Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma (EPR-3).

The five awardees are as follows:

  • Medical Society of Virginia Foundation
  • Michigan Department of Community Health
  • South Bronx Asthma Partnership/Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • University of Washington

As you may have read in the Spring 2011 edition of NACI In the Know, this past winter the NACI issued a call-to-action to its 23 existing NACI Demonstration Projects and Strategic Partners. They were encouraged to submit proposals for how they might extend their existing program’s reach and expand the distribution and use of the evidence-based approaches that they have been testing and implementing for nearly 2 years.

“We received many excellent proposals from our NACI Demonstration Projects and Strategic Partners. All of them are doing tremendous work that will ultimately help people who have asthma live normal, active lives,” said Acting NAEPP Coordinator Rachael L. Tracy, M.P.H. “Through a competitive process, five sites were chosen to use their proven strategies to reach and engage additional health care professionals in their communities, and across the country.”

The NACI Clinical Champions program is the third prong in the NACI’s three-pronged approach for overcoming barriers to the consistent use of clinical guidelines in practice. Some of these barriers include:

  • Insufficient awareness of the latest guidelines and the GIP messages
  • Resistance to prescribing inhaled corticosteroids
  • Lack of decision-support tools
  • Lack of appropriate patient-education materials that speak to diverse audiences in their language, and at their educational level
  • Poor communication skills
  • Inadequate performance incentives

The NACI Clinical Champions program will help greater numbers of clinicians to understand and follow the six key GIP messages, which reinforce the EPR-3 recommendations: assess asthma severity; assess and monitor asthma control; schedule follow-up visits; use inhaled corticosteroids; use written asthma action plans; and control environmental exposures. The overall goals of the Clinical Champions program are:

  • To increase adoption of the six GIP messages by primary care providers
  • To stimulate the integration and implementation of the six GIP messages throughout health systems via a network of informed and respected health care providers
  • To bring about positive changes in practice behaviors consistent with the GIP messages

The NACI will support this select group by providing technical assistance and a communications infrastructure for the ongoing sharing of information and resources.

To learn more about what other steps the NACI is currently taking to assist clinicians in improving of the quality of care they deliver to patients who have asthma, visit the NACI Web site and sign up for the quarterly NACI In the Know eNewsletter.