Children's Hospital Colorado
Breathing Institute
Breathing Institute

Asthma Action Plans at the Breathing Institute

What is an asthma action plan?

An Asthma Action Plan (AAP) is a written plan that outlines how to manage your child’s asthma.

The asthma action plan shows your child’s daily treatment, such as what kind of medicines to take and when to take them. Your child’s plan describes how to control asthma on a daily basis and how to handle worsening symptoms, or attacks. The plan explains when to call the doctor or go to the emergency room or urgent care.  

If your child has asthma, all of the people who care for him or her should know about your child’s asthma action plan. These caregivers include babysitters and providers at daycare centers, schools and camps. These caregivers can help your child follow his or her action plan.  

Why do we measure the percentage of families receiving an asthma action plan?

We measure the number of families receiving an AAP both in the outpatient clinic as well as when a child is discharged from an inpatient unit after having difficulties with asthma. The providers in the Breathing Institute measure this indicator because it is important for families to have this resource available at all times, and the Breathing Institute is committed to providing the necessary education and tools to have you feel confident to respond to your child’s asthma at home.

Inpatient asthma action plans

After a child has been hospitalized for asthma, it is very important to consistently manage symptoms. The lungs are in a more vulnerable state, and making sure medicines are taken exactly as prescribed as well as avoiding triggers is important in returning the child to his or her previous healthy state.

Goal 2012 2013 YTD
>90% of inpatients are discharged with an AAP 93% of inpatients were discharged with an AAP
(3% higher than our goal)
95% of inpatients were discharged with an AAP
(5% higher than our goal to-date)

Outpatient asthma action plans

Keeping your child symptom-free at home is also very important, so in the Breathing Institute we make AAPs a priority during outpatient visits as well. 

Goal 2012 2013 YTD
>90% of outpatients are sent home with an AAP 79% of outpatients were sent home with an AAP 89% of outpatients are sent home with an AAP

While we aren’t meeting our goal yet, we’ve made great progress since making AAPs a priority.  We’ve improved so much by paying close attention to the data, educating our providers/staff, and continuing to work to get better.

Download our asthma action plan (.pdf)