Founded in 2001, IMPACT DC (Improving Pediatric Asthma Care in the District of Columbia) is a pediatric asthma research, education, and intervention program based in the Emergency Department and in Children’s Research Institute, the academic arm of Children’s National.
The Environmental Protection Agency has recognized IMPACT DC for its dramatic improvement in asthma care for children in urban areas and the program is now a model for clinicians nationwide.
Asthma is the most common chronic pediatric medical condition in the United States, accounting for nearly one million visits to emergency departments (EDs) and 15 million missed school days annually. Asthma is also a disease marked by dramatic disparities in outcomes, with poor and minority children bearing a disproportionate share of the overall morbidity.
In the District of Columbia, children under the age of 5 visit EDs because of asthma at a rate five times greater than children nationally. And more than 60 percent of the families who repeatedly use the Children’s ED for asthma care consider the ED to be their primary source of asthma care even though it is not their primary source of health care,
The vision of IMPACT DC begins with the notion that effective long-term asthma care involves many parties. Therefore, the program helps coordinate patients’ care between the patient, his/her family, primary care provider, hospital, ED, retail pharmacist, insurance case manager, and school nurse.