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Standardized form helps with management of asthma
e-Reports, March 23, 2015
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Mary McTeer, M.D.
Mary McAteer, MD, IU Health Riley Physicians

Approximately one in 10 Hoosier children has asthma, yet less than half of all these patients have received a management plan from their physicians or schools. Indianapolis primary care pediatrician Mary McAteer, MD, is working to change that.

“I noticed that a lot of kids came to me with different asthma forms from their schools. Each one was long and very confusing,” explained Dr. McAteer. “I started researching and found that a standardized plan was a good communication tool for parents, schools and physicians.”

Last September, Dr. McAteer introduced a resolution in the ISMA House of Delegates encouraging use of a statewide standardized asthma action plan that would:

  • Require physician supervision and/or a designated asthma care provider
  • Assure specific patient identifiers
  • Identify school personnel responsible for interpreting the plan and administering medications
  • Allow school personnel to communicate directly with physician offices about the patient

The document is HIPAA compliant and meets Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) requirements. It can also be a part of meaningful use when incorporated in electronic health records.

“The one-page plan replaces the prior practice of having to submit both a prescription form and an asthma management plan,” commented Dr. McAteer. “When you familiarize yourself, it really creates a unique way to communicate with parents and patients, and they feel empowered to know what their child’s physician wants.”

Parents complete the top of the form and sign the bottom. The rest is divided into color zones that help parents and schools determine if the child is well or is critical.

Already, the IDOE has posted the plan online and is working to encourage schools to use it.

Find the Asthma Management Plan and Authorization Medication form on the ISMA website under Resources.

Read the state’s comprehensive asthma plan on the ISDH website.

Find education and training along with additional resources on asthma here.

Fast Facts

  • In 2012, 35.9 percent of asthma ED visits in Indiana were for children, 0-17 years.
  • Asthma is the third-leading cause of hospitalization due to illness among children under the age of 17.
  • In 2010, an estimated 457,000 Indiana adults and 136,000 children reported currently having asthma.
  • In Indiana, adult females are more likely to have asthma than men.
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