PRIMIS is delighted to launch the latest version of its popular Asthma Care quality improvement tool, which sees a number of significant improvements, including changes to meet the British Thoracic Society/Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (BTS/SIGN) guidelines.
Asthma affects the lives of 5.4 million people across the UK. The most recent Annual Asthma Survey (2017) produced by Asthma UK has found that two thirds of people with asthma are not receiving basic care for their asthma and that there is differing levels of care across the UK. Basic care covers the three key elements, as set out by BTS/SIGN* guidance: a yearly check-up, a written asthma plan and a lesson in how to use an inhaler.
The Asthma Care quality improvement tool can help GP practices redress the gap in basic care, as it audits patients care against the best practice guidelines for patients with active asthma and highlights any patients whose current treatment step (as part of the BTS/SIGN stepwise treatment plan) may require review. The Asthma Care tool also helps identify patients with a missing diagnosis of asthma and enables practices to optimise the management and care of patients with asthma. For all the care management and case finding benefits that the Asthma Care quality improvement tool offers, please view the quick guide flyer online.
In conjunction with the Asthma Care release, a new version of CHART [3.100.31] is also now available. This latest version of CHART will improve the use of any PRIMIS tool, as it includes performance speed improvements and now caters for ‘super practices’ with large patient population lists.
Anyone wanting to use Asthma Care must first install the latest version of CHART. Other CHART users (those not using Asthma Care) do not need to upgrade straightaway to the latest version of CHART and can do so when more convenient.
The BTS/SIGN guidelines have moved away from using a “Beclometasone Dipropionate equivalence” to determine steroid inhaler strength and now rank the individual inhalers by doses as low, medium or high and very low for children’s doses. Some inhalers will by virtue of their strength always be in one category. However, many will cross the categories depending on the doses used. The new algorithms within this latest version of the Asthma Care tool utilise the dosage instructions, where available, and determine the dose taken daily. Using this method, a more accurate determination of steroid category can be made. Where dosing instructions are not available or not usable the results may report the strength as being Low/Med or Med/High (for instance) as it would depend on the actual dose taken.
EMIS users no longer need to select a separate installer file. Only the correct file for your GP IT system will be visible within Check for Updates, making selection simpler. The EMIS Web version of the Asthma Care tool utilises the EMIS reporting module, continuing PRIMIS’ commitment to future proof its tools and conveniently means the tool no longer needs to be run overnight, thereby saving time and money.
Please note that TPP SystmOne users will continue to see the number of SABA prescriptions, rather than number of inhalers as TPP does not currently gather this data.
You will be aware that NICE updated its Asthma Guidelines in November 2017. Presently we have no plans to align the Asthma Care tool to the NICE guidelines, but would be delighted to receive your views and comments on this issue. We recommend the following paper, produced on behalf of the BTS, which summarises the differences and similarities between the NICE and BTS/SIGN guidelines: Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma: a look at the key differences between BTS/ SIGN and NICE.
Please go to Check for Updates within the CHART Home screen. We recommend that you first update to the newest version of CHART and then install the new Asthma Care.
Guides and documentation are also available via the home screen in CHART and any technical queries can be directed via our Helpdesk.
The Asthma Care quality improvement tool continues to be free-to-use for GP practices thanks to continued funding by Boehringer Ingelheim.
PRIMIS’ development of the Asthma Care quality improvement tool has been funded by Boehringer Ingelheim.
PRIMIS does not share data with the pharmaceutical industry.
More details can be found online for the Asthma Care quality improvement tool
All members of PRIMIS Hub can obtain the Asthma Care quality improvement tool free of charge, via Check for Updates within CHART.
Non-members can join for free online before obtaining CHART and Asthma Care.
Enquiries are welcome from anyone in the UK but outside NHS England who would like to use this tool.
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