A new study examined the Merck Childhood Asthma Network (MCAN), which funds care coordination in different settings across the country to provide evidence-based quality care. The study, published online in Health Promotion Practice, notes that the sites of the care coordination programs implemented different models of care coordination suit specific settings and organizational structures. The level of support and infrastructure provided by these entities to lead implementing units (LIU) influenced how participants were identified and how care coordinators were integrated into the clinical care team.

The MCAN Care Coordination Programs aimed to reduce pediatric asthma morbidity in vulnerable populations. According to Health Promotion Practice, phase 1 involved five sites implementing evidence-based interventions (EBIs) to improve outcomes and explore factors that led to successful adoption of EBIs is urban settings. The interventions yielded improvement in symptoms, school absences, caregiver confidence, and hospital and emergency department use. In phase 2, the four sites selected to continue emphasized care coordination activities.

The sites chose to adapt the EBI Yes We Can model of care, which deploys health workers to provide asthma education, facilitate communication between patients and clinicians, and link families to health and social services. The Health Promotion Practice article notes that while at a high level, care coordination across these settings could be described as similar, factors such as the ability to use data sources played a key role in instituting improvements in coordinated care.

There were several key findings in the study, including the type of setting in which a care coordination program takes place influences how it carries out key functions. Also, successful program implementation requires significant resources, time, and buy-in from key stakeholders. The analysis also revealed the importance of the LIU’s organizational relationships to partners providing access to clinical care and participants are a key component of care coordination.

The Health Promotion Practice article indicates that future research is necessary to examine how setting influences the family’s level of engagement, the effects of different care coordination models have on health and health care utilization, and the characteristics of care coordination models that facilitate or impede their sustainability.

Source: Health Promotion Practice