Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 24

Breathing easier
Children's hospitals are reducing visits for asthma by building
partnerships in the community and meeting families and
patients where they live, learn and play.
By Amanda Bertholf

W

hen a team at Children's Health in Dallas began
looking closely at asthma visits in 2011, it noticed
the same families would visit the emergency department (ED) week after week. These families had children
with asthma, and they were in crisis mode. When the team
talked to ED staff members and spent more time with families, it became clear that managing childhood asthma across
a population or a community is a "wicked problem"-not just a
complex problem, but one with many interdependencies.
Nationally, childhood asthma is the most common chronic
conditions to affect children under the age of 18, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
is most prevalent among African Americans. In 2010 and 2011,
asthma was among the top five reasons for ED visits in most
children's hospitals nationwide. And because the incidence of

24

CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL S TODAY Fall 2017

asthma is so high, it ranks as one of the top five costliest pediatric health conditions. The complexity of the condition means
it's difficult to identify a singular source of measurable impact.
But using population health models, children's hospitals are
working to improve the care experience for patients with
asthma, the health of populations and reducing costs. Here's
a look at how two children's hospitals are tackling the issue.

Plan of action
To reduce ED admissions for asthma, team members at
Children's Health knew they would need a system-wide
solution and collaboration among community groups in different sectors. Of Dallas County's 650,000 children, about
60,000, or 9 percent, have asthma. And in 2012, nearly 1,500
children in the county visited the ED or were admitted to the



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017

Contents
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - Cover1
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - Cover2
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - Contents
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 2
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