The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked Nebraska first in asthma deaths preceding the formation of the Asthma Safety Net Network, also known as the Asthma Safety Net. The Asthma Safety Net is a Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program grantee focused on reducing childhood asthma among youth living in Lincoln, Nebraska and is coordinated by the Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) St Elizabeth Foundation, a nonprofit regional medical center.
Children with asthma in the Lincoln, Nebraska community have access to collaborative, self-management guidance and support. These services have dramatically reduced asthma related morbidity and mortality in the community.
The Asthma Safety Net engages pediatric clinicians and practices in team-based care strategies by streamlining communication so all team members are informed, trained and have access to resources.
The following strategies are used by the Asthma Safety Net to implement team-based care in their program:
Engagement of a diverse, multidisciplinary team through the formation of a coalition made up of clinicians, pharmacists, epidemiologists, child care providers, physical therapist/athletic trainers, community members, state and county health representatives, educators, and respiratory therapists.
The coalition was created by a team-based care taskforce which established a leadership committee which oversaw transformation.
All care team members use a Web-based electronic health record case management system for efficient and up-to-date communication. All members of the care team are Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance trained and certified and can update field notes and patient information into the case management system. Community health workers and home visitors are given iPads to update patient charts in real time.
There are only two paid staff members in the Asthma Safety Net, all other team members are volunteers. To ensure sustainability of the project, Asthma Safety Net duties have become integrated into the job descriptions of all team members and have become part of the culture of the CHI St Elizabeth Foundation.