AUSTIN (KXAN) — Children with asthma are getting better, faster and cheaper care because of new coordination among several of Texas Children’s hospitals.
An estimated 25 million people in America have asthma; that’s one in 12. They suffer shortness of breath after spasms seize their lower lungs.
“It’s the number one reason for kids to be hospitalized. It’s the number one reason for kids to miss school and subsequently miss work,” said Assistant Medical Director of Dell Children’s Emergency Room, Dr. Sujit Iyer, as he holds a piece of paper that studies show may save you time and money. It’s now in the hands of most people across Central Texas who work with people dealing with asthma.
“Not only in the hospital but community pediatricians,” said Dr. Iyer.
It streamlines the work flow for health care workers so they are as efficient as possible. It’s a big change from just a few years ago.
“You usually have to meet like five people before you get to meet me right. You got to meet then nurse that says what are you here for? Then the nurse that’s taking your vital signs. Then the nurse that finally sees you in the room. Then maybe a nurse that’s taking your temperature. Then finally me. And all those times they’re saying, well what are you here for?” said Dr. Iyer.
Now, when a kid comes in with complications from asthma, they get an inhaler or steroids earlier in the process. The Children’s Hospital Association of Texas says it’s shortened hospital stays by half a day and dropped the need for chest x-rays by twenty-five percent, which can cost parents hundreds of dollars a pop. Ask anyone in the healthcare industry today if something can save you time and money; it’s worth doing.
Health officials say this will cut healthcare costs in general. “By decreasing the amount of time you’re in the hospital and reducing the risk of you having to come back to the hospital later,” said Dana Danaher, the Director of Quality for Children Hospital Association of Texas, an organization that spearheaded the policy reforms.
Asthma is just the first of several diseases these children’s hospitals are tackling together. Next on their list two others that affect a lot of kids: Septic Shock and Bronchiolitis. Those studies start next week.
Children’s hospitals each see between 500 and 2,000 emergency doctor visits a year and 100 to 650 inpatients a year for asthma patients.