Practice nurses will be able to produce plans to help asthma sufferers manage their condition at the click of a mouse thanks to the launch of a new software tool by a leading charity.
Asthma UK has worked with healthcare IT provider Emis to develop the tool, which will be installed in more than half of GP surgeries in the UK.
“This is a no cost, practical solution to save time in appointments as well as providing better care for people with asthma”
The initiative means practice nurses and GPs will be able to complete a short form to generate a personalised asthma action plan to help patients recognise if their asthma is getting worse and take steps to get it under control.
Quality standards for asthma care published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence say all asthma patients should get a written action plan from their doctor or asthma nurse.
Research shows asthma patients without plans are four times more likely to end up in hospital yet only about a fifth have got one.
The new system, which was launched at the Primary Care Respiratory Society annual conference yesterday, will allow nurses to print out plans at the surgery as well as email them directly to patients.
An electronic version can be saved on the patient’s notes for healthcare professionals to bring up at their next asthma review.
In addition, GPs and practice nurses will be alerted if a patient does not have a plan and prompted to complete one.
“Nobody with asthma should leave their GP surgery without an asthma action plan,” said Asthma UK chief executive Kay Boycott.
“This is a no cost, practical solution to save time in appointments as well as providing better care for people with asthma.”