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PHOM Indicator Report of Asthma Hospitalizations

Why Is This Important?

Asthma can usually be managed in an outpatient setting, reducing the need for inpatient hospitalization. Tracking rates of hospitalization can aid in identifying populations or areas with inadequate access to routine medical care.

An asthma attack can result in a hospitalization and can be initiated by a variety of triggers. Some of these include exposures to environmental tobacco smoke, dust mites, cockroach allergen, mold, pets, strenuous physical exercise, and air pollution. Two key air pollutants that can affect asthma are ozone (found in smog) and PM or particulate matter (found in haze, smoke, and dust).

The majority of problems associated with asthma, including hospitalization, are preventable if asthma is managed according to established guidelines. Effective management includes control of exposure to factors that trigger exacerbations, adequate pharmacological management, continual monitoring of the disease, and patient education in asthma care.

Hospitalizations due to Asthma by Age Groups: 0-4, 5-64, and 65+, Utah, 2008-2012

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Data Sources

  • Utah Inpatient Hospital Discharge Data, Office of Health Care Statistics, Utah Department of Health
  • Population Estimates: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) through a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau, IBIS Version 2013

Data Notes

The ICD-9 code used to define asthma is 493.

How Are We Doing?

Utah is below the Healthy People 2020 objectives for asthma hospitalizations. In 2012 Utah's overall hospitalization rate was 6.2 visits per 10,000 people. Of particular interest is the high number of hospitalizations due to asthma among males aged 1-4, and females aged 65+.

What Is Being Done?

The Utah Asthma Program (UAP) in conjunction with the Utah Asthma Task Force and other partners strives to maximize the reach, impact, efficiency, and sustainability of comprehensive asthma control services through providing a seamless alignment of the full array of services across the public health and health care sectors, so that people with asthma receive all of the services they need.

In the coming years, the UAP will focus on three types of strategies to create and support a comprehensive asthma control program, these include: building infrastructure strategies to support leadership, strategic partnerships, strategic communications, surveillance, and evaluation; linking services strategies to expand school- and home-based services; and creating health systems strategies to improve coverage, delivery, quality, and use of clinical services.

These strategies are expected to increase asthma control and quality of life, by increasing access to health care and by increasing coordination and coverage for comprehensive asthma control services both in the public health and health care sectors. Specifically, these strategies include identifying people with poorly controlled asthma, linking them to health care providers and NAEPP EPR-3 guidelines-based care, educating them on self-management, providing a supportive school environment, and referring to or providing home trigger reduction services for those who need them. The linkage function will have the added benefit of bringing more people who might be high utilizers of emergency room and hospital services into primary care and also providing a resource for primary care providers to refer people for intensive self-management education and trigger reduction services when needed.

Healthy People Objective RD-2:

Reduce hospitalizations for asthma
U.S. Target: Not applicable, see subobjectives in this category

Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 12/12/2014


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The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site (http://ibis.health.utah.gov). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Mon, 22 December 2014 17:04:18 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: http://ibis.health.utah.gov".

Content updated: Fri, 12 Dec 2014 13:32:36 MST