Emergency Department Asthma Medication Delivery Program: An Initiative to Provide Discharge Prescriptions and Education

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Prescription fill rates for children being discharged from the emergency department (ED) after asthma exacerbations are low, placing the child at risk for additional ED visits or admissions for asthma. This article describes the implementation of an ED asthma prescription delivery service designed to improve pharmacy prescription capture and decrease ED revisit rates.


A core group developed a service to provide asthma prescriptions and education to patients in their ED room before discharge. The project assessed the percent of ED asthma patients who filled ED asthma prescriptions at the hospital outpatient pharmacy, 7-, 14-, and 30-day ED revisit rates, and patient satisfaction.


Patients/families who chose to participate in the service received asthma prescriptions and education at the ED bedside. Within 1–3 days, ED outreach nurses obtained patient satisfaction survey responses via telephone.


There was a statistically significant increase in the number of patients who filled ED asthma prescriptions at the hospital outpatient pharmacy (22.2% versus 33.8%; P < 0.0001). The decrease in 7-, 14-, or 30-day ED revisit rates for patients who received the medication delivery service compared with standard of care was not statistically significant. Patients were satisfied to very satisfied with the service.


Postimplementation of a medication delivery program within the ED, there was an increase in the percentage of patients who filled ED asthma medication prescriptions at the hospital outpatient pharmacy. There was no difference in ED revisit rates for patients who enrolled in the prescription delivery service versus standard of care.

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