The Healthy Learner Asthma Initiative (HLAI)
Initiative Description: The Healthy Learner Asthma Initiative (HLAI) was designed as a comprehensive, school-community initiative to improve asthma management and produce healthy learners. National asthma guidelines were translated into components of asthma management in the school setting: All health offices were supplied with peak flow meters, spacers, nebulization equipment, and metered dose inhaler trainers. The HLAI incorporated evidence-based practice and introduced the role of the asthma resource nurse: School nurses provided basic asthma education to school staff using a centrally developed 20-minute slide presentation in-service education program. Specialized asthma training was provided to coaches, health and physical education teachers, and back-up staff for the health office. Students with asthma are identified using annual health information forms, emergency contact cards, physical exam reports, and medication authorizations and Asthma interventions are individualized to best meet the learner’s needs. Education is provided to all students k- 8.
Study Results: Asthma initiative schools had greater use of peak flow measurements, symptom assessment, asthma education, and controller medications, and greater availability of asthma medications in the health office. For students who received asthma care in the health office, there was a shift from episodic visits for problems to more preventive care visits. Nurses initiated over 300 medical requests throughout the school year. About half resulted in direct responses from health care providers, such as scheduled clinic visits, new medication orders, or AAPs.
Reference: Erickson, C. D., Splett, P. L., Mullett, S. S., Jensen, C., & Belseth, S. B. (2006). The healthy learner model for student chronic condition management–part ii: the asthma initiative. Journal Of School Nursing, 22(6), 319-329.
Level of Evidence: Very Good