Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of an electronic alert on the prescription rate of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) by ED providers for poorly controlled persistent asthmatic children. Methods: Study subjects included asthmatic patients age 4–18 presenting to the ED at Phenix Children’s Hospital between February 9, 2018 and December 4, 2018, with a history of at least two previous ED visits for acute exacerbation of asthma within 365 days, no active ICS prescription within 90 days, and free from developmental delay, bronchopulmonary dysplasia due to prematurity, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, and/or interstitial ling disease. Patients meeting these criteria triggered an electronic alert prompting the medical provider to prescribe ICS or indicate reason for not prescribing. Instruction on the alert was provided to ED attending physicians and residents by email and through several educational sessions held prior to the implementation. Results: Among 62 patients without prior ICS who were discharged home from the ED, ICS was prescribed for 48 (77%). No statistically significant differences were detected in baseline characteristics between patients discharged home from the ED with and without ICS prescription. While ICS was prescribed by a larger proportion of physicians (56%) compared to residents (42%), statistical significance was not reached. For the 14 (33%) patients who were discharged home without ICS, no reason was provided to indicate why ICS were not prescribed. Conclusion: An electronic alert incorporated into the ED workflow to populate a discharge order set is effective to initiate asthma controller medication for poorly controlled pediatric patients. Additional data describing reasons for not prescribing ICS can further refine recommendations for ICS prescriptions, and provide a comprehensive strategy to support clinical decision for pediatric asthma control in acute care settings.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine