Safety considerations in providing allergen immunotherapy in the office

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Abstract

Purpose of review

This review highlights the risks of allergy immunotherapy, methods to improve the quality and safety of allergy treatment, the current status of allergy quality metrics, and the future of quality measurement. In the current healthcare environment, the emphasis on outcomes measurement is increasing, and providers must be better equipped in the development, measurement, and reporting of safety and quality measures.

Recent findings

Immunotherapy offers the only potential cure for allergic disease and asthma. Although well tolerated and effective, immunotherapy can be associated with serious consequence, including anaphylaxis and death. Many predisposing factors and errors that lead to serious systemic reactions are preventable, and the evaluation and implementation of quality measures are crucial to developing a safe immunotherapy practice. Although quality metrics for immunotherapy are in their infancy, they will become increasingly sophisticated, and providers will face increased pressure to deliver safe, high-quality, patient-centered, evidence-based, and efficient allergy care.

Summary

The establishment of safety in the allergy office involves recognition of potential risk factors for anaphylaxis, the development and measurement of quality metrics, and changing systems-wide practices if needed. Quality improvement is a continuous process, and although national allergy-specific quality metrics do not yet exist, they are in development.

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