Why Is This Important?Asthma can usually be managed in an outpatient setting, reducing the need for emergency department visits. Tracking rates of emergency department visits can aid in identifying populations or areas with inadequate access to routine medical care.
An asthma attack can necessitate an emergency department visit 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 emergency department visits, are preventable if asthma is managed according to established guidelines. Effective management includes control of exposures to factors that trigger exacerbations, adequate pharmacological management, continual monitoring of the disease, and patient education in asthma care.
Emergency Department Visits due to Asthma by Year, Utah, 2000-2014
- Emergency Department Encounter Database, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, Utah Department of Health
- Population Estimates: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) through a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau, IBIS Version 2015
Data NotesThe ICD-9 code used to define asthma is 493. All ED encounters are included in the presented data, which includes those that were treat and release visits, as well as those that resulted in hospital admission. Age-adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population.
How Are We Doing?In 2014, Utah was well below the Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) objectives for ages 0-4 and 5-64, and met its state ED target for 0-4. The emergency department visit rate among the elderly ages 65+ in 2014 (21.0 per 10,000 population) currently exceeds the HP2020 objective (13.7 per 10,000 population). In 2014, Utah's overall emergency department visit rate due to asthma was 24.7 per 10,000 population (crude rate). Asthma emergency department visits are higher among young male children when compared to young female children. However, among adolescents and adults, females have higher rates.
What Is Being Done?The Utah Asthma Program (UAP) in conjunction with the Utah Asthma Task Force and other partners strive 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.
The UAP focuses 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 has 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: Reduce emergency department (ED) visits for asthmaU.S. Target: Not applicable, see subobjectives in this category
Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 10/19/2016
- by Year, Utah, 2000-2014
- by Age Groups: 0-4, 5-64, and 65+, Utah, 2014
- by Age and Sex, Utah, 2013-2014
- by Local Health District, Utah, 2013-2014
- by Utah Small Area, 2013-2014
- by Month, Utah, 2000-2014
- Average Charge per Visit by Local Health District, Utah, 2014
- Total Charges by Local Health District, Utah, 2014