Challenging Expectations for Patient Care in Severe Asthma
Summary of work
Severe asthma (SA) is a distinct, clearly defined form of asthma, which is associated with high levels of patient mortality and morbidity. Until recently, insufficient thought had been given to what constitutes good care from a patient perspective, but evolution in scientific understanding of the causes and treatment of SA have led to exciting developments in treatments. However, patients are often misdiagnosed as having poorly controlled mild-moderate asthma and are not referred for specialist care. So, while the science is advancing, and global clinical guidelines exist, healthcare systems are not keeping at pace with this understanding. Clinical guidelines have not translated into ‘standards’ for SA patients as many policymakers see asthma as a condition which has been ‘sorted’, with appropriate guidelines and standards in place, and don’t understand the need for SA to be treated differently. This is leading to sub-optimal diagnosis, referral and treatment rates, and ultimately, poor outcomes. Over the two years, the programme has looked to create a movement for change, to work towards new or updated SA ‘quality standards’ across EU5, Jap, Can and US.
This solid piece of work offered an effective strategy that was backed with an interesting audit. This meeting was a great example of how a clear, strategic approach can achieve positive outcomes.