A new wallet-sized Asthma Action Plan card is helping Western Australians with asthma better manage their condition.
Developed by the Department of Health’s Respiratory Health Network, in consultation with health professionals and consumers, the card can be used to record a range of medical information and treatment history.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Simon Towler said the cards would encourage greater communication between GPs, pharmacists and patients.
“The Asthma Action Plan cards contain patient-specific information and advice about an individual’s condition,” Dr Towler said.
“This information can be used to help people with asthma better manage their condition and will also help others who may come to their aid during an asthma attack.
“The card will include the name of an individual’s GP and also the pharmacy that provides their medication.”
Dr Towler said all Perth pharmacies had been informed about the new card and had received training on how they could help ensure people with asthma were taking the right medication and dosage.
Pharmaceutical Society of Western Australia committee member Amanda Bryce said the cards would provide a good opportunity for pharmacists to engage with patients who hadn’t recognised the importance of managing their condition.
“Many customers admit to not having an asthma action plan and aren’t aware that developing a cough overnight or needing to use their Ventolin more than twice a week are red flags for uncontrolled asthma,” Ms Bryce said.
“By recording a person’s medication each time they come to buy a reliever refill, pharmacists can ensure their customers are receiving the appropriate dosage.
“If a pharmacist notices that there has been overuse of reliever medication or any other anomalies in the use of asthma medication, they can refer the customer to their GP for an asthma medication review.”
The Asthma Action Plan card is the result of collaboration between WA Health, the Asthma Foundation WA, the Pharmaceutical Society of WA, and the University of Western Australia’s School of Pharmacy.