Asthma Ready (TM) Communities
What is “Asthma Ready™ Communities”
The Asthma Ready™ Communities program is an initiative aimed at equipping local communities to be prepared to implement national guidelines for the management of childhood asthma. This statewide effort is led by the Department of Child Health at the School of Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia. Key partners include the Missouri Asthma Coalition, Missouri School Boards’ Association, and the Center for Environmental Analysis (Southeast Missouri State University). Funding has been provided by the Missouri Foundation for Health and the Missouri Asthma Prevention and Control Program (Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention). Asthma Ready™ Communities supports local efforts to improve asthma care in homes, child care settings, schools, primary care and specialty clinics and hospitals through education and training, as well as the distribution of critical equipment and resources.
What is an Asthma Ready™ Facility?
The Asthma Ready™ designation is earned when a facility fulfills criteria that reflect a capacity to meet the needs of children who have asthma. Asthma Ready™ criteria are specific to the setting of care – hospital, clinic, school, and child care center – and include critical actions that ensure coordinated efforts between settings.
Asthma Ready™ uses current best practices and evidence-based resources.
The National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute’s Expert Panel Report 3, Guidelines for the Management of Asthma serve as the basis for Asthma Ready™ criteria, as well as other national objectives and standards, such as Healthy People 2010 and the Joint Commission’s Performance Measurement Initiatives for Childhood Asthma Care. National asthma guidelines experts also guided the development of Asthma Ready™ criteria.
What is required to participate as an Asthma Ready™ Facility?
Participation in the Asthma Ready™ program is voluntary and requires facility commitment to maintain asthma training, resources, services, communication standards, and quality improvement efforts. After a period of consultation with program staff, a facility submits an application demonstrating program criteria have been met.
How will families and professionals find an Asthma Ready™ Facility?
Published lists of Asthma Ready™ facilities and web-based zip code locator applications will assist families and professionals who seek to access to state-of-the-art asthma care for children.
The Asthma Ready™ designation is a statement of facility readiness.
This designation does not guarantee quality of care. An Asthma Ready™ facility has employees who have completed asthma training. Essential equipment and resources are maintained for delivering appropriate services. Protocols are followed for ensuring communication with others who are involved in asthma care (parents, school nurses, health care providers and others). Ongoing quality improvement efforts are in place to strengthen the care of children with asthma and to identify opportunities to eliminate local barriers.
Asthma now affects one in eight people; that’s more than half a million Missouri residents. Simultaneous efforts in homes, child care settings, schools, primary care and specialty clinics and hospitals are more likely to affect lasting change in communities. Combining interventions by several Asthma Ready™ facilities to meet the needs of children with asthma and their families will help closing gaps in care and reduce the burden of asthma.