Improving Access to High-Quality Care in East Harlem
Special Projects Fund
November 16, 2006
East Harlem has the highest rate of hospitalization and death from asthma in New York State. With proven and effective therapies available for asthma care, many emergency room visits and hospitalizations are preventable. This project sought to improve access to timely, high-quality follow-up care for adults with asthma in East Harlem who visit the emergency room or are hospitalized at Mount Sinai.
New York State has the highest rate of asthma incidence, morbidity, and mortality in the country. In New York City, the East Harlem community is one of the hardest-hit by asthma in both its child and adult populations. This grant to the Mount Sinai School of Medicine supported a program to improve access to high-quality asthma care for adults in this neighborhood.
Currently, most patients with emergency department or hospital visits are discharged with vague follow-up plans and left to negotiate a fragmented care system with a high risk of relapse. This project created a new navigator program to ensure that sick patients are connected to timely, high-quality outpatient care. Unlike most asthma programs, which focus on children, majority populations, or have a one-size-fits-all approach, this program tailored its interventions to the needs of specific patients. Major project activities included: (1) development of an integrated patient/physician friendly Asthma Portal to facilitate access to timely, high-quality outpatient asthma care for adults with emergency department visits or hospitalizations at Mount Sinai Hospital; and (2) the design, pilot-testing, and implementation of a novel, patient-tailored, asthma self-management educational program for adults.