The process of translating new knowledge into widespread practice can take as long as 17 years, limiting improvements in the quality of medical care.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, a national society of pediatricians, provided training and support to help 49 pediatric practices improve asthma care for children. The efforts were overseen by four state chapters, which used collaborative learning methods to help practices build registries for asthma patients and implement the treatment recommendations of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
The percentage of patients who received optimal care rose from 35 percent to 85 percent. Based on limited data, the percentage of patients whose asthma was deemed to be well controlled increased from 58 percent to 72 percent. The percentage of patients making emergency department visits declined from 7 percent to 5 percent.