When I’m not sat behind a desk with my Editor hat on, one of my hobbies is sewing (bear with me on this, it is loosely relevant). Last year, I embarked on my most ambitious project to date: I made my own wedding dress. One thing I learnt was how important it was to tailor the dress to my individual dimensions in order to get the perfect fit. This involved cutting up a number of commercial dress patterns and adapting them to suit my shape and the design I had created. So, what do a wedding dress and an asthma action plan have in common? To get the best results, they must be tailored to the individual.
Our new Pharmacist focus series continues with a piece on asthma. Garry McDonald describes a number of key reports that can be generated by practice-based pharmacists to assess the current state of asthma care at the local level, and explains how to carry out a structured, pragmatic annual asthma review. The annual asthma review should be patient-centred and focus on empowering patients to self-manage and monitor their asthma. All patients with asthma should have a written personalised asthma action plan detailing how to maintain asthma control, identify a lack of control, and act after an asthma event. The patient’s asthma action plan should be personalised to detail their trigger factors, typical ‘good’ peak flow, inhaler strength and dose, and spacer device usage. Educating patients about asthma and good inhaler technique is crucial, and as the author points out, ‘the best inhaler on the market today is the one that the patient can use, does use, and will use.’
Regardless of the patient’s presenting condition or symptom, the best healthcare possible is that which is tailored to the patient’s individual needs.