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Parents and caregivers of children with asthma encouraged to have written asthma action plans

Mon, May 3rd, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

In recognition of World Asthma Month, Minnesota health officials are encouraging parents and caregivers of children with asthma to ensure that their child has a written asthma action plan (AAP). An AAP helps all asthma patients and medical professionals manage and prevent asthma symptoms by providing crucial information to those who come in contact with, or care for, people with asthma.

Prescribing clinicians can easily prepare an AAP through a new software application, called the Interactive Asthma Action Plan (iAAP). The software incorporates algorithms that follow the National Institute of Health guidelines for assessing and treating asthma. It condenses 460 pages of guidelines into a highly useable decision-support tool for preparing an AAP. The application can be found atwww.asthma-iAAP.com.

"Asthma is a condition that can be effectively managed with the right tools and resources," said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Sanne Magnan. "The iAAP represents a huge accomplishment in making it easier for all Minnesota providers to implement asthma best practices. That's why we are strongly encouraging providers to use this new evidence-based program for all patients with asthma."

Approximately eight percent of Minnesota adults and an estimated 85,000 Minnesota children have asthma. A written plan can enable a person with asthma to better manage the disease, thus reducing asthma hospitalizations and emergency department visits (and associated costs), as well as improving the quality of life for Minnesotans with asthma and their families.

The iAAP is available as an online or "kiosk" version in which a provider develops and prints a plan, with no information being saved electronically when the encounter ends. It is also available in three downloadable versions that allow providers to save individualized asthma action plans and patient data while maintaining confidentiality within the health care system. It was developed by MDH and is available at no cost.

The final plan can be printed in both English and Spanish. Examples of those who should have a copy of the action plan include patients, parents, grandparents, school nurses, coaches, teachers, day care providers, and others who might care for a person with asthma.

For more information, please visit www.asthma-iAAP.com.

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