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Bootcamp training of rural primary care providers improves asthma management

Published online: August 1, 2021

Most children with asthma are treated by a primary care provider (PCP), particularly so for those living in rural areas where access to specialty care may be challenging. The Asthma Toolkit Bootcamp program was designed to improve capacity of rural PCPs to manage pediatric asthma with brief intensive training in asthma management consistent with evidence-based guidelines. Several key strategies differentiated this program from other primary care training programs. These included conducting the training in the communities in which the PCPs practiced, emphasizing use of spirometry in a standardized asthma visit, providing booster training following the one-day bootcamp and examining urgent care events to evaluate program effectiveness.

We enrolled all practices in rural La Plata County, Colorado in the Bootcamp program. As reported by Bender and colleagues in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, the program included 1) face-to-face engagement meetings, 2) a 90-minute online course, 3) a one-day in person training, and 4) follow up implementation sessions in each practice. Each clinic received an EasyOne spirometer and training in its’ administration and interpretation. Outcomes were measured by chart review and assessment of urgent care events before and after training in both trained and matched control practices.

In the year that followed training, significant increases in spirometry use, severity assessments, and employment of action plans were accompanied by decreases in hospital admissions (29%), ED visits (10%), and corticosteroid prescriptions (29%) in comparison to control practices.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.

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