How many hospitalizations for asthma are avoidable?

December 1, 2005

Investigators conducted a cross-sectional survey of parents, primary care physicians (PCPs), and inpatient attending physicians (IAPs) to determine their views on what percentage of hospitalizations for pediatric asthma can be prevented, and how this can be done. The survey related to 230 children, as old as 18 years, who had a primary diagnosis of asthma and were admitted to the inpatient unit of an inner-city hospital during a 14-month period.

Investigators conducted a cross-sectional survey of parents, primary care physicians (PCPs), and inpatient attending physicians (IAPs) to determine their views on what percentage of hospitalizations for pediatric asthma can be prevented, and how this can be done. The survey related to 230 children, as old as 18 years, who had a primary diagnosis of asthma and were admitted to the inpatient unit of an inner-city hospital during a 14-month period.

Only 26% of parents thought that their child's hospitalization for asthma was preventable-compared with 38% of PCPs and 43% of IAPs who held that opinion. The three groups associated preventable hospitalization for asthma with the following variables:

Commentary All three sets of opinions (from parents, PCPs, and IAPs) can help us address these still-too-common admissions. Would more liberal use of case managers provided by insurers effectively plug these leaks into the inpatient unit?