Innovations in Asthma Home Visiting Services: Virtual Visits
by Joel Ervice, Regional Asthma Management and Prevention
In my role as the associate director of Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP), I have the privilege of working with and supporting a wide range of asthma home visiting programs in California and across the nation. For years, asthma home visitors and program managers alike have impressed me by their commitment to their clients and creativity in delivering services. When the COVID-19 pandemic pushed countless programs to experiment with, expand upon, and rely on virtual delivery of services almost overnight, that commitment and creativity was once again front and center.
Of course, telehealth has long held promise for many healthcare services as a way to reach more people at a lower cost across a larger area, including home-based asthma services. Over the last decade, several leaders in asthma home visiting have successfully incorporated virtual visits into their protocols; COVID-19 simply accelerated this process in countless ways.
With the support of asthma home visiting programs, RAMP and the National Center for Healthy Housing often partner to compile, synthesize, and lift the ground-level lessons groups are learning across the country. Based on those lessons, we’re excited to announce the release of a new resource, “Incorporating Virtual Visits into Home-Based Asthma Services,“ to support stakeholders in considering and/or implementing virtual asthma home visiting services.
There are many reasons to consider combining virtual and in-person visits, including geographic reach, client preference, safety concerns, scheduling difficulties, workforce shortages, budget challenges, and more. Still, virtual visits require considering a range of new issues, such as:
- How to combine virtual and in-person visits
- Adjusting current staffing models
- Communicating with clinical providers and referring clients into the program
- The pros and cons of different technologies and approaches to virtual visits.
The “Incorporating Virtual Visits” module will help the field weigh these and other issues as programs consider incorporating a virtual aspect to home-based asthma services.
This module is part of NCHH’s Building Systems to Sustain Home-Based Asthma Services, an e-learning and technical assistance platform to support the launch and growth of large-scale, evidence-based, sustainable asthma home visiting programs. With guidance on a variety of topics, the modules offer a deep look into some of the topics and strategies to consider while working to design and implement home-based asthma services. Check it out today!
Of course, the new module would not have happened without the support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well a wide range of asthma home visiting experts who so freely shared their advice and perspectives.
For those new to the idea of virtual visits or looking to improve your approaches, we hope you find this module helpful. And if you want to go deeper on this issue—or any aspect of your work designing and implementing home-based asthma services—with technical assistance from NCHH and RAMP, don’t hesitate to reach out to NCHH Project Manager Laura Fudala.
Joel Ervice is the associate director of Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP). RAMP works to reduce the burden of asthma with a focus on health equity. Since 2003, Joel has helped lead RAMP from its Bay Area focus into a nationally recognized resource. In partnership with RAMP’s director, Joel manages organizational development, financial sustainability, and communications activities. Joel also manages much of two goal areas: Healthy Air for All and Health Care Equity.