When teens grow out of our pediatric asthma care, we make sure they don’t take their next steps alone. The ASCEnT Program is dedicated to helping adolescents with asthma make a smooth transition from pediatric care to adult care. Our ASCEnT team works with adolescents and young adults, giving them the tools to manage their own asthma care.
About the Asthma Self-Care, Education and Transition (ASCEnT) Program
The ASCEnT team partners with our patients, their families and their providers to meet their health goals as adults. We reinforce the care plans between patients and their providers and teach our patients the skills they need for successful, lifelong self-care.
As children with asthma become teens and young adults, some may continue to have asthma symptoms that need continued care by an adult primary care provider or an adult asthma specialist. Our team works with families to find adult care teams that meet their needs, accept their insurance and are convenient. We have partnered with adult doctors at the University of Colorado Hospital and across Colorado.
Our goal is to prepare our patients so they can make the switch from pediatric care to adult self-care when they are old enough. We want young adults to become advocates for themselves, rather than their parents overseeing their care.
How does the ASCEnT program help patients with asthma transition to adult care?
We help young adults prepare for the transition to adult care in several ways:
- Managing medications: Knowing the names of their medications, what they are for and how to refill prescriptions
- Appointment keeping: Scheduling appointments and managing consistent visits
- Tracking health issues: Understanding asthma, your medical history, allergies and what to do in a medical emergency
- Insurance issues: Understanding the changes in insurance as you transfer off a parent or guardian’s plan
- Talking with providers: Feeling comfortable talking one-on-one with doctors and nurses, as well as knowing how to contact the asthma care team through patient portals
Who we help transition to adult self-care for asthma
We work with adolescents and young adults with asthma starting at 14 years old with the goal of transferring them to adult care by 22. To be eligible for the program, patients must have established care at Children’s Colorado. We start by asking patients to fill out a yearly questionnaire so we can understand their level of comfort regarding their care.
Teens between ages 14 and 18
We ask kids between 14 and 16 to start meeting with their asthma provider one-on-one, without their parent or guardian, so they can learn how to receive and share health information. During this time, our providers help our patients assume greater responsibility in managing their asthma, including taking their medications consistently, remembering their asthma triggers and knowing what to do in an emergency.
Many young adults continue to involve their families in their care, but when our patients reach 18, we can only communicate private healthcare information to families with the patient’s consent. At 18, patients become responsible for scheduling their own appointments.
Young adults between ages 18 and 22
Between 18 and 22, we encourage and teach our young adult patients to manage their own asthma care. The ASCEnT team can help identify an adult provider, send medical records and communicate with the adult provider about the unique needs of the patient.
Patients with disabilities
If a child or adolescent has a condition that prevents them from making healthcare decisions, we partner with social workers in our Improving Pediatric to Adult Care Transitions (ImPACT) Program. Our ImPACT team can provide options to help a patient’s decision-making. We also offer support for parents of children with intellectual disabilities, as well as guidance on choosing the right adult provider and what happens when the child turns 18.
Why choose us to help transition to adult asthma care
Our asthma specialists treat many patients and understand the variety of factors that can affect asthma treatment, whether it be the severity of a child’s condition or how other health challenges affect asthma care. We also understand how those things may change as children grow into young adults. This knowledge helps us identify what type of specific adult care you or your child might need when they transition to a self-care plan.
Our large medical network ensures that our patients get the right adult care based on their specific health needs. Getting self-care and becoming independent in one’s own care is an important step in everyone’s medical journey. We’re here to help you get a head start on the road to successful and effective adult self-care.
Contact the ASCEnT Program
To learn more about the program, call us at 720-777-4219 or ask your asthma provider to reach out to our team.