Improving Asthma Management for Children in New York City: Evaluation of the Asthma Buddy Program


Asthma continues to be the leading cause of emergency department visits and hospitalizations for children and places serious limitations on normal childhood activities, including school attendance. With evidence showing that improved patient self-management is critical to better health outcomes, experts have devised a handheld computer that prompts patients to answer a series of questions and then reports this information to the doctor who helps manage their care. This new 'Asthma Buddy' technology was used recently to reduce emergency visits and hospitalizations for a small group of children with asthma seen at Coney Island Hospital. For this project, the Asthma Buddy will be tested more widely for a sample of children seen in five hospitals run by the city's Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC). MetroPlus Health Plan, HHC's managed care plan that primarily serves publicly insured New Yorkers, will conduct a scientific study to measure changes in health care use, asthma knowledge, symptoms, and quality of life, as well as the intervention's cost-effectiveness. These findings will help determine if systemwide implementation is warranted.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
MetroPlus Health Plan
Principal Investigator:
Arnold Saperstein, M.D.
Award Amount:
Approval Date:
November 11, 2003

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