Objective: This study tested the ability of an electronic prompt to promote an asthma assessment during primary care visits.
Methods: We performed a prospective study of all eligible adult patients with previously diagnosed asthma in three geographically distinct ambulatory family medicine clinics within a 4-month period. The usual clinic visit process was performed at two geographically distinct control sites (n = 75 and n = 55 patients, respectively). The intervention group site (n = 64) had an electronic flag embedded in the Patient Check-in Locator field which prompted the distribution of a self-administered Asthma Management Questionnaire (AMQ) in the waiting room. The primary outcome measure was a documented asthma severity assessment.
Results: The front desk distributed the AMQ successfully in 100% of possible opportunities and the AMQ was completed by 84% of patients. Providers in the intervention group were significantly more likely than providers in the two non-intervention groups to document asthma severity in the medical record during a non-asthma ambulatory clinic visit (63.3% vs. 18.7% vs. 3.6%; p < .001).
Conclusion: The provision of standardized asthma information triggered by an electronic prompt at the time of check-in effectively initiates an asthma assessment during the primary care visits.