American Academy of Family Physicians Offers Asthma & Allergy Resource Program as an Alternative to Traditional Continuing Medical Education
Program represents a multi-faceted approach to improving the systems that underly chronic care
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 12, 2004
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5222
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, asthma was the primary reason for 10.4 million physician office visits and 1.8 million emergency department visits in 2000. Allergies affect as many as 40 to 50 million people in the United States and often accompany asthma.
The Asthma and Allergy Resources program combines science, education and quality to give family physicians the practical tools they need to improve the systems on which chronic care depends. By providing help to implement the necessary system changes, this program goes beyond simply offering continuing medical education (CME) for the physician.
The Asthma & Allergy Resource Program includes several components. The first component - a year-long "Learning and Improvement Collaborative on Healthcare for Children with Asthma" - was co-sponsored by the AAFP and the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality. The collaborative involved 13 family practices across the country and focused on establishing best practices in asthma care in family medicine settings.
The second component of the resource program is a point-of-care decision support tool based on asthma guidelines from the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP).
Two practice-based research projects are also currently underway as a component of the resource program. The first project aims to assess the ability of family physicians' practices to perform spirometry and to evaluate the value of those tests in the primary care setting. The second project involves development and validation of a patient-oriented tool for assessing asthma control. Both projects aim to translate research into practice by better understanding the opportunities for improving care and by offering tools for both physicians and their patients.
Finally, the resource program offers an Asthma & Allergy Resource Guide that provides physicians with the necessary tools to implement system changes in their practice. Components of the guide include asthma action plans for adults and children, and a reprint of the current NAEPP guidelines for easy reference.
The Translating Research Into Practice conference, co-sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Cancer Insitute and the Department of Veteran Affairs, provides a forum for health care professionals to share experiences and collaborations for moving research into sustained behavior change. The Asthma & Allergy Resources for the Family Physician program will be shared as an innovative model for implementing research into practice.
Quality care of asthma and allergies requires a partnership between the patient and his or her family physician. The AAFP's Asthma & Allergy Resources for the Family Physician program fosters that relationship by providing the necessary tools for the physician to identify, treat and manage these chronic conditions in coordination with the patient.
# # #
Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org.