Asthma Health Outcomes Project
Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005
Domestic Programs: Ohio (cont’d)
QualChoice KNOW Asthma Program
Patricia Russ, RN, MSN, ANP
In 1999, QualChoice health plan of Cleveland, OH implemented the Knowledge and New Opportunities for Wellness (KNOW) asthma program, a comprehensive disease management program designed to help members with asthma gain the knowledge, skills, and support necessary to feel and function their best every day. The program involves interventions directed at both the member and the practitioner, and is available to all QualChoice members who have asthma, regardless of a member's age. Annual participation rates of members who are offered enrollment in the program and opt to participate range from 95-99 percent.
The KNOW program formed an alliance with the Cleveland Municipal School System to identify children with asthma for enrollment in an asthma education program during school hours. Asthma education is provided to patients hospitalized with asthma and age-appropriate educational materials and newsletters are mailed to all members enrolled in the program. Ongoing education and asthma self-management support is provided through periodic nurse phone calls to the patient's home. An intervention that aims to improve medication compliance allows parents to order prescriptions for free home delivery. Interventions for practitioners include patient-specific treatment improvement suggestions supported by evidence-based clinical standards, as well as patient-specific updates.
As a result of this program, QualChoice members with a primary diagnosis of asthma (over 17000 identified to date) have seen reductions in emergency department visits and inpatient admissions, an increase in the number of patients on appropriate medications, and documented increases in primary care physician referrals to specialists for patients who had an inpatient or emergency visit. The program is ongoing.
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