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AAFP NRN Recruiting Docs to Evaluate Web-based Asthma Tool
Research Network Collaborating With AAAAI
By News Staff
For this project, however, the AAAAI and the AAFP NRN worked together to develop a new version of Asthma IQ specifically for primary care.
"This is a ground-breaking project," said Kurt Elward, M.D., of Charlottesville, Va., who is leading the study. "It is a very exciting alliance between the AAAAI and AAFP. It provides an innovative approach to asthma management that makes it easier to provide excellent asthma care in the context of a busy practice. It provides what should become the standard for (electronic health records) in asthma care modules."
Elward, who is assistant professor of research in the department of family medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and associate clinical professor of family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, said the project also has the potential to evaluate the six key messages (2-page PDF; About PDFs) about asthma guidelines in primary care identified by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. It will be useful for future iterations of guidelines at the NIH, as well, he added.
The NRN plans to recruit 20 practices for the study, and each practice will recruit 20 patients. The practices will be randomized into two groups, with one using the Asthma IQ tool right from the start, while the other serves as a control group initially, before switching to the Asthma IQ process during the project's second year.
Physicians using Asthma IQ will receive feedback from the tool based on patient age, level of asthma impairment and asthma risk. They also will receive help selecting the most appropriate control as well as help initiating or adjusting therapies.
Asthma IQ also allows physicians to graphically track an individual patient's asthma status and history, and a data analysis feature allows physicians to chart various aspects of their practice, including breakdowns of control level, severity level, treatment steps and lung function tests.
Another module allows physicians to generate reports with statistics for pay-for-performance measures, a tool that focuses on key quality checkpoints in developing managed care incentive programs, said Elward, who is a member of the AMA-National Committee for Quality Assurance, or NCQA, Panel for Asthma Quality Measures.
"It is a very innovative program that really provides an electronic tool for asthma care that meets both the evidence-based clinical needs and the upcoming NCQA requirements that will be the foundations of pay-for-performance in asthma," said Elward, who is the AAFP's liaison to the National Asthma Education and Prevention Panel Coordinating Committee.
Elward said the majority of asthma care in the United States is provided by family physicians, and AAFP members are ideally suited to provide such care through all stages of a patient's life.
"Asthma IQ provides an exciting tool to enhance asthma care and position family physicians to play a leading role in performance measurement and development of clinically useful electronic management tools," he said.
Physicians interested in participating in the study, which is funded by Novartis, should contact Mindy Spano or Karen Sparks by Jan. 31.
AAFP NRN Recruiting Family Medicine Practices for Asthma Research
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AAFP National Research Network
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma (EPR-3)