The Seton Asthma Center
The Seton Family of Hospitals formed the Seton Asthma Center in 2004 to respond to a rise in asthma-related pediatric emergency department visits and hospitalizations, especially among economically disadvantaged and underserved populations. The Center’s case management workers, all registered respiratory therapists, promote improved patient self-management in bilingual patient education sessions that include in-home environmental assessments, training on appropriate use of medications and peak flow meters, and the development of personalized asthma action plans. The asthma action plan serves as a communication tool between the primary care provider, the school nurse, and the patient. The case managers review each asthma action plan quarterly to ensure each patient has a current, effective plan in place. The Center also operates a mobile caravan that makes monthly visits to public schools to deliver asthma care to uninsured and indigent students. Case managers have partnered with the Central Texas Asthma Coalition and the American Lung Association’s Lung Health Initiatives Committee to raise public awareness, educate providers, and collect surveillance data. This partnership has led to the use of a standardized set of metrics to assess the burden of asthma in the community. For patients enrolled in the program, asthma-related emergency department visits have dropped by 75 percent, and the number of in-patient visits has decreased by 85 percent.