Appropriately Maximizing Asthma-Focused Telehealth Visits

Tammy Rood, DNP, CPNP-PC, AE-C, described how telehealth visits provide a unique opportunity to improve access to asthma care, yet many children are still not receiving asthma visits as often as needed.

The importance of asthma-focused telehealth visits is crucial because children and families need regular visits to learn necessary skills to prevent asthma symptoms and attacks, according to a session at the virtual National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners 2021 Annual Meeting.

Tammy Rood, DNP, CPNP-PC, AE-C, described how telehealth visits provide a unique opportunity to improve access to asthma care, yet many children are still not receiving asthma visits as often as needed.

“Through these regular asthma visits, children and families learn how to recognize early asthma symptoms that are coming on and then quickly act to prevent and minimize asthma symptoms and attacks,” Rood said.

Telehealth visits should be considered for all asthma patients, but especially for those who live in underserved areas, have fallen out of care, or are afraid of in-person visits due to COVID-19. As a health care professional (HCP) prepares for the visit, Rood mentions how taking 10 minutes before the visit to review the electronic medical record, including checking the asthma risk, checking medication adherence, reviewing any last clinic notes, and reviewing vital signs and key results.

Rood added that having the right technological equipment, environment, and communication are critical to establish to have a successful telehealth visit. Being in a telehealth setting gives the HCP the opportunity to observe the child and the family in the home setting while glancing at social determinants and supporting self-care. In the physical exam sense, it is more observational, as the HCP can observe the rate of breathing, assess for conversational dyspnea, and note the presence of cough.

There are many useful tools for HCPs to use when counseling their patients through telehealth to further improve assessment of asthma impairment and risk. Some of these resources can be available during the visit to help guide treatment decisions, such as the 2020 Focused Updates to Asthma Management Guidelines, according to Benjamin Francisco, PhD, PNP, AE-C.

“It’s important to know that not a lot of things changed, that’s the good news,” Francisco said. “The evidence did increase in 6 content areas to a degree that it was necessary to hire research teams to review systematically the literature and to come up with new recommendations.”

REFERENCE

Francisco B, Rood T. Asthma-Focused Telehealth Visits- Maximizing the Experience. 2021 NAPNAP Virtual Conference.

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