Objective: To examine whether a collaborative to improve pediatric asthma care positively influenced processes and outcomes of that care.
Methods: Medical record abstractions and patient/parent interviews were used to make pre- and postintervention comparisons of patients at 9 sites that participated in the evaluation of a Breakthrough Series (BTS) collaborative for asthma care with patients at 4 matched control sites.
Setting: Thirteen primary care clinics.
Patients: Three hundred eighty-five asthmatic children who received care at an intervention clinic and 126 who received care at a control clinic (response rate = 76%).
Intervention: Three 2-day educational sessions for quality improvement teams from participating sites followed by 3 "action" periods over the course of a year.
Results: The overall process of asthma care improved significantly in the intervention group but remained unchanged in the control group (change in process score +13% vs 0%; P < .0001). Patients in the intervention group were more likely than patients in the control group to monitor their peak flows (70% vs 43%; P < .0001) and to have a written action plan (41% vs 22%; P = .001). Patients in the intervention group had better general health-related quality of life (scale score 80 vs 77; P = .05) and asthma-specific quality of life related to treatment problems (scale score 89 vs 85; P < .05).
Conclusions: The intervention improved some important aspects of processes of care that have previously been linked to better outcomes. Patients who received care at intervention clinics also reported higher general and asthma-specific quality of life.