UF Health Jacksonville named innovator in national quality-improvement project on managing children with asthma

UF Health Jacksonville is among 89 hospitals involved in a national improvement collaborative for children seen in the emergency room or hospitalized with asthma.

“Asthma affects nearly 10 percent of American children and is a leading cause of pediatric emergency visits and hospitalizations,” said Jennifer Fishe, M.D., the associate medical director of the pediatric emergency department at UF Health Jacksonville. “We are excited to be a part of this effort to understand how to best treat asthma patients in our community and around the country.”

Fishe, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, is leading the Pathways for Improving Pediatric Asthma Care initiative at UF Health Jacksonville, the only hospital in Florida participating in the program. The initiative is led nationally by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Sunitha Kaiser, M.D., M.Sc.

The project will provide resources that will help health care providers select and provide appropriate medications, choose appropriate tests and effectively counsel families. It will also offer continuing medical education and American Board of Pediatrics Maintenance of Certification credits to physicians who meet qualifying criteria.

The project will be conducted by the Value in Inpatient Pediatrics Network. This initiative, like previous network projects, provides content and quality-improvement expert guidance within a low-cost virtual learning collaborative, leveraging health information technology.

“Physicians face tremendous barriers to consistently practicing evidence-based care,’’ Kaiser said. “This leads to inappropriate variability in important outcomes for children with asthma, like rates of admission to hospitals and intensive care units. The goal of this project is to support hospitals around the country in addressing those barriers.”

Resources and strategies developed as part of the project will be available through the academy’s Quality Improvement Innovation Networks website, a clearinghouse of information and resources for quality improvement, on the VIP Network website.

About UF Health Jacksonville:

UF Health Jacksonville is a private, not-for-profit hospital affiliated with UF Health, the University of Florida’s academic health center, with campuses in Jacksonville and Gainesville. In Jacksonville, UF Health includes UF faculty, medical residents and fellows at the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville, who team up with outstanding caregivers and other employees to provide state-of-the-art services to residents throughout Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. This academic health center’s mission is to heal, comfort and educate in an environment where exemplary medical care is complemented by outstanding service.