Asthma consortium to study asthma treatment practices

Asthma consortium to study asthma treatment practices


The Suburban Asthma Consortium (SAC), the Illinois Asthma Partnership, and their research partner, MCIC (Metro Chicago Information Center), have launched a study in Chicago suburban hospitals that will analyze patient asthma data while maintaining strict confidentiality and patient protection measures. Participating in the study are eight community hospitals that are taking a leadership role in learning more about their asthma practices through quantified measures against the National Institute of Health guidelines.

“The value of the study for participating hospitals is to have not only their own data on how well care is provided when evaluated against national standards, but also how the hospital compares to others in the area,” said Rita Brennan RNC, MS, outcomes manager, Central DuPage Hospital, in Winfield, Ill.

In exchange for participating in the study, hospitals will get their own proprietary data back, results, and analysis from MCIC. Aggregated data reflecting the sum of all participating hospitals will be provided to SAC as well as participating hospitals to help inform the larger asthma treatment field without compromising individual hospital performance.

“Patient data is masked, and individual hospital data at all times belongs to the hospital,” continued Brennan.

“We’re here to help hospitals, asthma treatment specialists, and their patients. This is a real win-win where everyone involved will learn more, be protected, and contribute to defining the burden of asthma in our local communities,” said Deb McElroy, SAC director. SAC is a network of more than 50 healthcare professionals, associations, hospitals, and concerned families.

“As neutral, third party researchers, we see a great need to develop high-quality, action-orientated data,” said Mari Gallagher, senior researcher and consultant at MCIC, a not-for-profit research and consulting firm that specializes in health and human services, among other fields. “On an anecdotal level, hospitals have a sense of their treatment strengths and areas where they would like to see improvements. They also know generally where the field is going. But they don’t necessarily have hard data that empirically measures their performance or tells them what to do about it. They also don’t fully know how they compare in treatment practices to other hospitals in their market. This study will answer those questions.”

The study is currently under way, although hospitals may continue to enroll until Feb. 28.

“This is an exciting time to launch this study,” continued McElroy, who also noted that the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations now has a certification available for health care organizations on disease specific care. “We believe our study will help hospitals and health care organizations achieve outcome measures set out by JCAHO for certification.”

Asthma is the chronic lung disease among children and accounts for more than 10 million missed school days per year. Adults are also suffering in huge numbers. Asthma is an all-American problem that all communities—rich and poor—face every day.”

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