Adult Asthma

Asthma is a chronic lung condition that causes swelling and narrowing of the airways. Patients with asthma may be able to breathe normally most of the time, but certain substances like pollen, tobacco smoke, animal dander, dust, and certain foods or drugs, can trigger an asthma attack. Asthma attacks are characterized by breathlessness along with wheezing, coughing and tightness in the chest.

Appropriate treatment for patients with asthma can reduce the risk of further attacks. Asthma patients should work with their physician to create and carry out an asthma action plan. This plan outlines how to avoid asthma triggers, monitor symptoms and take medicines. The plan also tells when patients when to seek medical care.

There are two basic kinds of medication for the treatment of persistent asthma: long-term control medications and quick relief or "rescue" medications. Long-term control medications are used on a regular basis to prevent asthma symptoms, not for treatment during an attack. They should be taken every day, even when asthma patients do not experience symptoms.

In the following graphs, we evaluate the care that adults with persistent asthma receive during routine visits to their physicians. Unfortunately, we cannot compare our performance to that of other health systems because the data for other health systems are not available. Instead, we monitor our progress toward goals that we have established to ensure that we are providing the best care.

Adults with Asthma on Control Medication

Details

Why is This Measure Important?

Medications are important to control asthma and avoid asthma attacks. They are used for long-term control and short-term relief. Medications for long-term control work over time to reduce swelling in airways. Patients with persistent asthma should be on a long-term controller medication every day. This is a measure of the percentage of adults with asthma seen at the University of Michigan Health System who are taking control medications. Higher percentages mean better performance.

How is UMHS Performing?

At the University of Michigan Health System, routine reports of performance in treating adults with asthma are produced and distributed to clinical staff and leaders. Our most current results show that 98% of adults with persistent asthma are receiving control medications and that we have surpassed our current goal of 90%.

UMHS Source: Hospital administrative and medical record data .
Comparison Group Source: Institutional goal set by UMHS.

Adults with Asthma with an Asthma Action Plan

Details

Why is This Measure Important?

Asthma action plans help patients improve their asthma control and home management of asthma attacks, thereby decreasing hospitalizations, emergency care visits, and absences from work or school. It lists medications used for long term control (that should be taken every day) and short term relief (used with an asthma attack). This is a measure of the percentage of adults with persistent asthma seen at the University of Michigan Health System who received an asthma action plan. Higher percentages mean better performance.

How is UMHS Performing?

At the University of Michigan Health System, routine reports of performance in treating adults with asthma are produced and distributed to clinical staff and leaders. Asthma action plan use has decreased and is below our current goal of 50%. We have developed a standard electronic asthma action plan template for use throughout our health system and are working with our staff to identify patients who need a new or updated asthma action plan.

UMHS Source: Hospital administrative and medical record data.
Comparison Group Source: Institutional goal set by UMHS.