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Date: 24 April 2019

Time: 12:57

Respiratory medicine quality indicator

Percentage of asthmatic patients who are discharged on inhaled steroids

What is asthma?

Asthma is a common condition in which the passages which take air from the mouth into the lungs become narrowed, resulting in coughing, breathlessness and wheezing. This narrowing is generally the result of inflammation in the lining of these air passages.

Effective treatment for asthma involves reducing the amount of inflammation in the air passages using anti-inflammatory steroid drugs, administered either through tablets or inhalers.

How is the Trust doing?

Your browser does not support this graph; however, you can still view the statistics in the table below.

Rolling year to date (March 2018 – February 2019) 95.2%
Rolling 2 years (March 2017 – February 2019) 95.4%

Over 90% of patients with asthma are currently prescribed inhaled steroids on discharge. Performance is very close to the goal of 95%.

Why is this indicator important?

After discharge from hospital following an episode of asthma, most patients will require treatment with steroid inhalers to continue to keep the inflammation under control. Patients should therefore be discharged on inhaled steroids to improve their symptoms and reduce the likelihood of future hospital admissions. However in some situations, inhaled steroids may not be indicated, for example if patients are not able to use inhalers, their asthma is very mild or if the diagnosis is still not certain.

How do we measure this indicator?

All patients discharged from UHB with asthma listed as the main diagnosis in their discharge letter are identified. The Prescribing Information and Communication System (PICS) database is then checked to see if inhaled steroids were included in each patient’s discharge medication.

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