Home-visit programs are helping children's hospitals in the Philadelphia area curb costly emergency room visits for asthma attacks, according to NewsWorks.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), for example, sends home visitors from its Community Asthma Prevention Program to the homes of high-risk asthma patients in inner-city Philadelphia to look for asthma attack triggers, such as blinds, carpeting and rotating fans.
The home-visit program also provides basic supplies, such as vinyl floor tiles, to reduce asthma flare-ups.
CHOP offers home visits to children ages 2 through 16 with asthma diagnoses who live in West, Southwest and North Philadelphia zip codes and who have persistent asthma and take controller medicine, according to the website.
Similarly, at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, health specialists identify and refer children who need help controlling asthma to the Philadelphia Department of Health's "Healthy Homes" program.
However, hospital workers find it hard to get invited into patients' homes, NewsWorks noted. One health worker at Nemours Children's Hospitals and Health System had about four families a week cancel or reschedule their home visits, due to privacy concerns or parents not knowing the home environment's effect on children's health.
To keep asthma patients out of the ER, CHOP also offers asthma education classes in schools, churches, daycare centers and other locations throughout Philadelphia, as well as education for certified school personnel and primary care practitioners, according to the website.