We recently connected with the American Lung Association to discuss a project that the Lung Association and Azara Healthcare have been working on together to support asthma programs in New York State. Following is the quick chat Q&A between Kaitlyn Gordon, Clinical Improvement Specialist at Azara Healthcare and Alexandra Kranidis, Director of Health Promotion at the American Lung Association.
You can also watch the video interview below and read the recent press release about the partnership between Azara and the American Lung Association here.
Watch the video interview:
Please share a bit of background on the project that Azara and the American Lung Association have been working on together and what the work pertaining to asthma has looked like from the perspective of the Lung Association.
Those of us on the New York State Asthma Team here at the American Lung Association have been implementing various asthma programs across New York State. Our current grant is funded by the New York State Department of Health Asthma Control Program to address the pediatric asthma burden in hotspot areas across New York State.
Specifically, one of our projects is called Project BREATHE. This is an asthma quality improvement program where we provide various healthcare settings with the tools and resources that they need to assist them in managing their patients with asthma, and then providing self-management education to those patients—ultimately so they can stay healthy and out of the hospital and emergency departments.
An important part of Project BREATHE, as well as all quality improvement projects, is the component of data capturing. We ask all of our partners across New York State who are implementing Project BREATHE to send the Lung Association, and to collect for their own benefit, a monthly data report on a set of asthma measures. And they're required to report this to the Lung Association and then we submit to the New York State Department of Health. So we're very lucky, here at the American Lung Association to have had the opportunity to contract with Azara to work with those specific sites to help them in mapping and validating their asthma measures as part of Project BREATHE.
What are some of the highlights that you've seen throughout this project so far?
One of the main highlights of our work with Azara has really been the work that has been done with some of our Federally Qualified Health Centers on Long Island, New York. Many of our sites that are implementing Project BREATHE are already capturing asthma data in one way, shape, or form in their electronic medical record. But oftentimes sites don't have the resources to analyze or really report on some of the asthma data that they're capturing. So, through our New York State Department of Health Asthma Control funding with our grant, we've been able to have the opportunity to fund this part of Project BEATHE and their work and fund the program with all of you at Azara to connect those sites with your team to expand the work that they're doing to reach their asthma population.
One of our provider partners on Long Island is a pediatric provider, and she also oversees quality improvement at five Federally Qualified Health Centers across Long Island. They were really the perfect candidate for all the work that we've been doing through Project BREATHE, and with Azara, since this particular site has been working with the American Lung Association and the Asthma Coalition of Long Island for the past several years. So, they really understand the importance of quality improvement and the importance of data collection. They have an existing asthma template, and working with Azara and connecting them with all of you, was really the perfect marriage.
Through their work with the American Lung Association, and now with Azara, they've been able to take the asthma measures that they're already capturing in their electronic medical record and map and validate those asthma measures, giving them the opportunity to monitor their progress in terms of data collection and capture, educate their staff on additional opportunities for asthma education, and ultimately provide a higher quality of patient care at their sites across Long Island.
Azara has a few new sites that we will be implementing this year. What are your hopes for those sites going forward?
We're excited to continue to work with Azara. The American Lung Association New York State Asthma team is going to be launching several new Project BREATHE sites over the next year across New York State. We are already working in a variety of hotspot, high-burden asthma areas across New York State that include Long Island, the five boroughs of New York City, Rochester, Albany—all across New York State. Our hope is that we can continue to connect some of our new partners with Azara so they too can map and validate the asthma measures that they're collecting at their sites. Ultimately, we're hoping that this will allow those of us at the American Lung Association who are their technical advisors to really hone in on their asthma workflows; the quality improvement efforts that they are embarking on as it relates to their asthma patients.
Our hope is that sites utilize the Azara platform to identify areas of opportunity for their staff and their patients, and also highlight the great work that we know they're already doing at every one of those individual locations. Using the Azara platform, teams can set goals for performance on their asthma measures. They can use the platform's asthma alerts to ensure that care gaps are identified and then closed. And again, showcase the already excellent patient care they're providing to their patients through their data capture and collection.
We are really excited to continue this work with all of you and to expand the partnership that we have with the American Lung Association and Azara. And we're excited to have sites have the opportunity to build monthly reports where they can automatically generate these reports for their staff and their quality improvement teams.
Note: There are asthma measures available to all DRVS users including: use of appropriate medications for asthma, asthma severity assessed, asthma influenza vaccine, and asthma self-management plan.
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