A new 3-year study to be conducted in Canada will involve the development of an electronic care guide to aid physicians in the management and care of patients with asthma.

Asthma is the most common chronic disease during the formative years and Alberta researchers are working on a project to improve the care for children affected by the respiratory condition.

The project involves the development of an electronic care guide that family physicians and their staff can use to better manage the care they provide to asthma patients.

The treatment guide is put directly into the patient’s electronic medical record and the hope is that it will help to reduce the need for emergency department visits and hospital stays.

“What we’re attempting to improve is physician and parent management of asthma for their children,” said Dr Andrew Cave, a family physician and Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta. “So we developed a template that can be inserted into a patient’s electronic records for the doctor; they can click on it when a child with asthma comes through, and follow the path so the patient gets managed ideally.”

“So essentially what it is, is a series of questions posed to the physician to clarify, to help them really narrow down, to target in a really time efficient way, what type of asthma it is and then how best to treat it,” said Dr David Johnson Professor of Paediatrics, Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine.

The three-year study is intended to assist health professionals to prescribe the right medication and to help parents fill and use the prescription properly.

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