Asthma care reminders for clinicians improve patients’ use of preventive medication and reduce caregivers’ concerns about these medications, according to a new study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2023 meeting.

Researchers conducted a trial of 530 children with persistent or uncontrolled asthma at 18 pediatric and family medicine clinics in the Bronx, N.Y., to determine how the inclusion of clinician reminders about asthma severity and care guidelines in electronic health record systems (EHRs) impact care and outcomes. 

Half of the clinics received asthma care reminders through EHRs, while a control group did not. Patients’ caregivers completed regular follow-up surveys about preventive medication use, asthma symptoms, and healthcare utilization. 

The study found that patients of clinicians who received the reminders were more likely to use preventive medication for asthma, and their caregivers had fewer concerns about these medications. Researchers noted there were no differences in asthma outcomes between patients in either group.

“Clinical guidelines can help reduce complications for people with asthma by as much as 70%, but the key is following them consistently,” says Marina Reznik, MD, vice chair for clinical and community-based research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, and presenting author, in a news release. “It’s clear that electronic reminders can provide clinicians with the tools they need to improve asthma care, but additional support is needed for these children to reduce asthma morbidity.”  

Study authors concluded that systemically screening and prompting clinicians with virtual guideline reminders can improve care for urban children with asthma.