Global Quality Standard Needed For Identification of Severe Asthma Patients

By MD /alert Staff
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According to a recent commentary in Advances in Therapy, clinicians call for a global quality standard for the identification and management of severe asthma. 

“Although severe asthma constitutes only about 10% of total asthma cases, these patients experience substantial burden of illness and account for up to 50% of asthma-related health care resources used,” John Haughney, FRCGP, of the Clinical Research Facility at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, and colleagues wrote. “Moreover, viable precision-based assessment tools and newer preventive therapies that can reduce the frequency of exacerbations and associated functional impact are underused. As a result, high rates of poorly controlled severe asthma persist, and patient health-related quality of life suffers.”

The authors formed a committee in order to establish quality standards for patients with severe asthma. Their aim was to encourage guideline-directed therapy in order to improve identification, access, a quality of care. 

Their standard is based on four elements related to sever asthma care: “organization of services; timely identification and referral for suspected severe asthma; specialized assessment and management of severe asthma to optimize outcomes; and patient-centric care and shared decision-making that is reflective of the patient's expectations, priorities, and values.”

The second element, identification, notes that patients with severe asthma need to be “rapidly identified, reviewed, and referred to specialist care,” because they may not respond to standard of care therapies for asthma patients. 

The third element, management, notes that precision medicine based-care needs to be adopted for severe asthma patients because “understanding the biologic drivers of disease, and the key biomarkers that may better predict a patient’s response to an individual therapy, is critical to optimize patient care and deliver superior clinical outcomes.”

The authors explain that their recommendations should act as a jumping off point for stakeholders to reach a consensus on optimal severe asthma identification and management.

“Key stakeholders are encouraged to use this Quality Standard to guide important collaborative efforts needed to standardize clinical care and optimize outcomes for patients with severe asthma around the world,” they concluded.


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