Electronic records to improve care for children with asthma

November 01, 2004

Yale University has received a $1.2 million three-year grant from the United States Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research for the ERICCA Project (Electronic Records to Improve Care for Children with Asthma).

Funding will help Yale and a group of community partners implement a shared electronic health record system for providers in primary care, school health, specialty care and emergency medicine. The goal is to electronically capture and add clinical data from emergency room visits, hospitalizations and specialty clinic visits, to patients' ambulatory health records.

"This consolidation of health records will considerably diminish fragmentation of care," said the grant's principal investigator Richard Shiffman, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics and anesthesiology at Yale School of Medicine. "For the first time, records of patient care at multiple sites will be accessible to clinicians in the emergency department, all primary care settings, hospital inpatient units and specialty care."

Research will focus on asthma in children, the most common chronic illness in childhood, which is responsible for 25 percent of school absences. Shiffman said the prevalence and rate of outpatient visits for asthma are rising, as is the mortality rate. Children who live in urban communities represent a disproportionate share of asthma sufferers. Electronic health records will ease communication among care providers, allow inter-disciplinary care planning, and provide clinical decision support.

Department of Pediatrics Chair Margaret Hostetter, M.D., said, "Integrating patient care for asthma among pediatric providers at the Medical School, Yale-New Haven Hospital and in the community is a top priority of the ERICCA project. We are proud of such high-profile recognition of efforts to bring cutting-edge medical information technologies to our patients."
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Community partners include the Department of Pediatrics, Organizational Development and Learning Center, Information Technology Services-Medicine, and Center for Medical Informatics; Yale-New Haven Hospital's Pediatric Primary Care Center, Pediatric Emergency Department, Pediatric Inpatient units, School-based Health Clinics, and Information Systems Department; Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation; Hill and Fair Haven Community Health Centers; the New Haven Health Department; and the Hospital of St. Raphael.

Other project members are Tina Tolomeo, Alia Bazzy-Asaad, M.D., Martha Radford, Wei Teng, Zhenqiu Lin, Laura Freebairn-Smith, Susan Grajek, Elizabeth Thornquist, Peggy Simonette, Paula Burns, Allen Hsiao and Kirsten Bechtel, M.D.

Yale University

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