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NACI In the Know: Highlighting NACI Accomplishments—Putting Research into Practice

Volume 10 | Fall 2012

NACI Update

NACI Investigators Share Experiences

For many patients with asthma and their health care providers, delivering effective asthma care and control can be challenging. Progress is being made toward lessening the challenges, however, thanks to the dedicated efforts of 28 projects funded by the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program’s (NAEPP) National Asthma Control Initiative (NACI). These projects have implemented strategic activities and gained valuable knowledge about how to get health care providers, patients, and others to follow six key actions (based on the NAEPP’s clinical practice guidelines) that can chart a smoother course toward asthma control.

NACI project investigators spent two years putting the guidelines into practice in “real–world” settings.

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GIP in Focus

Graphic showing the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle. Other questions in the graphic that feed into the PDSA cycle include: What are we trying to accomplish? How will we know that a change is improvement? and What changes can we make that will result in improvement?

Quality Improvement: The Importance of Feedback

What helps physicians put asthma guidelines into practice? Real–time feedback on how well they deliver guidelines–based asthma care.

That’s one of the valuable lessons learned by four quality improvement projects funded by the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program’s (NAEPP) National Asthma Control Initiative (NACI). The projects—led by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; American Board of Family Medicine; Medical Society of Virginia Foundation; and University of Washington—used customized feedback to accelerate physicians’ use of the six key actions for improving asthma care and control according to the NAEPP’s clinical practice guidelines.

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Partner Profile

Dorchester House Brings Spirometry In–House for Its Patients with Asthma

  • Long wait times
  • Transportation limitations
  • Language barriers

These are the types of challenges that some children and families face when referred outside their primary care medical home for spirometry, an objective measure of lung function. For patients with asthma ages 5 and up, the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program’s (NAEPP) clinical practice guidelines recommend spirometry to assess asthma severity and monitor asthma control, two of six key actions that the NAEPP has identified as critical to the improvement of asthma control and care.

pirometer, a device used to assess asthma severity.
Spirometry testing during asthma visit at Dorchester House Multi–Service Center.

That’s why Boston’s Dorchester House Multi–Service Center (“Dorchester House”)—a community–based organization providing an array of health and social services for a racially and ethnically diverse patient population—took a bold step with funding and technical assistance through the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program’s (NAEPP) National Asthma Control Initiative (NACI).

Dorchester House brought spirometry testing in–house.

Through its NACI–funded Spirometry Integration Project, Dorchester House sought to increase its patients’ access to spirometry testing within the primary care setting, with the aim of improving the overall quality of asthma care they received. As a result, the project has made spirometry part of its pediatric asthma visits, an important step forward for the 1,200 primarily low–income, minority children with asthma that Dorchester House serves.

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Last Updated November 2012