Asthma/COPD Webinar Series: Application in your Day-to-Day Work
While the first webinar in this series, Asthma Diagnosis & Management, is fresh in our minds, I wanted to take the opportunity to provide a few pointers to consider in your work:
- Population management: As Karen pointed out, the under- served population that many of you work with on a day to day basis are at greater risk of having the diagnosis of asthma. Your being aware of this is a wonderful asset to the patient. Knowing who is at risk may increase the ability of the care team to detect the diagnosis earlier. Nurses, social workers and community health workers can all serve as “soldiers on the ground” in being sensitive to the at risk population and “listening” for the symptoms and triggers of asthma. (See slides 17, 18, 19, 21, 24 – consider making a print-out of slide 21 and placing it near your work station).
- Asthma Management:
a. Both clinical and non-clinical team members have an important role with patients diagnosed with asthma. Clinical team members can reinforce patient education by conducting a comprehensive medication reconciliation that includes return demonstration with inhalers, addressing patient fears and concerns with steroids, and regularly monitoring patients that have had an exacerbation or are in the at-risk category. Non-clinical team members can reinforce the teach-back methods, address psychosocial barriers such as cost, literacy, transportation and ethnic sensitivities to obtaining and or taking medications. These are just a few mentioned.
b. Monitoring in-between visits is critical. Both clinical and non-clinical team members can become familiar with the “Patient Asthma Control Test” (PACT) and assist patients in self-monitoring their control. Encouraging and assisting patients to understand the importance of contacting the provider when they are in the “Not Well” control status and advising the patient on how to respond to emergent situations when in the “Very Poor” control will increase patient safety. (See slides 49 – 61).
- Self-management: Encouragement and patient support for patients with a chronic condition diagnosis is something all team members can provide. Living with a chronic disease is challenging. They do not get a vacation for the diagnosis, and many patients, like all of us, have good and bad days. Your support through normalizing the challenges and times of non-adherence, providing empathy, and having a good listening ear can be very meaningful to patients. (See slides 57-60).
I hope you found the webinar useful to your work. Our goal is to support you, so you can support the patients you work with! We have links to some tools and resources that you may find helpful.