FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2006
City’s Public Hospitals Leading the Trend In Reducing Pediatric Asthma Hospitalizations
Statement by Alan D. Aviles
President, NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation
“In pursuit of our shared goals with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, HHC is making significant progress in reducing emergency room visits and hospital admissions for NYC kids with asthma. Asthma, along with diabetes, hypertension, and depression, is one of the chronic diseases HHC aggressively addresses with the innovative approach known as disease management – an effective outpatient care strategy.
“In 2003, HHC established uniformed guidelines for identifying and treating pediatric patients with asthma. We also established a standard formulary of asthma drugs known to effectively address the spectrum of asthma symptoms. The results have been dramatic. From 2003 to 2005 we experienced a 19% drop in pediatric emergency room visits related to asthma and a nearly 21% drop in pediatric hospital admissions related to asthma. Looking back further, to 1997 when we first began to implement asthma reduction pilot programs in our hospitals, through 2005, our results are even more spectacular - with a 45% reduction in pediatric emergency room visits related to asthma.
“Technology plays a large role in the successful effort to fight chronic diseases like asthma. HHC’s advanced electronic medical records system and electronic registries help drive the care provided to each patient by our teams of doctors, nurses, case managers and others who can closely monitor the patient’s progress and quickly and efficiently identify the next step in care.
“HHC’s electronic medical records also facilitate the use of pediatric asthma action plans – a self-management “contract,” available in multiple languages - the patient and doctor agree on the steps the patient needs to take in order to better manage their asthma at home such as:
- Properly using prescribed medications.
- Using Flow Meters to measure breathing.
- Avoiding certain conditions that may trigger their asthma symptoms.
“Asthma is the number one chronic disease in children, and the single most health related reason for children missing school. It is also the leading cause of hospitalization for children age 14 and under. With HHC’s self-management “contract” a successful partnership is created with the child’s family that helps us to better track each child’s asthma, to keep the disease in check, and the child in school.”
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), the largest municipal hospital and health care system in the country, is a $4.5 billion public benefit corporation that serves 1.3 million New Yorkers and nearly 400,000 who are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, four skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 80 community based clinics. For more information about HHC, visit www.nyc.gov/hhc.