Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics
Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics — serving families in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri — uses a creative approach for managing pediatric asthma. Children's Mercy trained a team of asthma educators to implement a three-part environmental asthma management program that included education for providers and staff; personalized case management and education for families with high hospital utilization due to asthma; and in-home, school, and day care environmental assessments to determine the presence of asthma triggers. Children's Mercy determined that for those patients with severe cases of asthma, home-based, hands-on education about the common environmental asthma triggers was critical to ensuring that patients gained control over their asthma and made the connection between their asthma symptoms and environmental triggers in their home environment. During the home assessments, Children's Mercy staff conducts a comprehensive environmental and safety assessment that identifies common environmental asthma triggers. Based on the home assessments, asthma educators provide personalized environmental health action plans to help patients and their families identify their asthma triggers and to reduce these triggers in their home. Through a creative partnership with the Healthy Homes Network for Kansas City, and funded by a HUD Healthy Homes Demonstration grant, qualifying families are provided up to $2,000 worth of home supplies and repairs to try to reduce environmental asthma triggers. As a result of Children's Mercy's efforts, patients and their families know more about what triggers their asthma and how to control asthma symptoms. Children's Mercy has seen fewer emergency department visits and hospitalizations since the program's inception.