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Asthma Information For Health Care Professionals

Due to the complex nature of this disease, clinicians must be armed with the knowledge and skills to correctly diagnose, treat and teach their patients about how to manage their asthma. The six key messages from the 2007 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma can help you identify the most critical parts about caring for your asthma patients.

It is intended to be used with the 2020 Focused Updates to the Asthma Management Guidelines: A Report from The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Expert Panel Working Group (Clinician’s Guide) which includes 19 recommendations in six key areas of asthma diagnosis, management, and treatment.

Primary Care 15-minute Asthma Visit Infographic and resources to help clinicians provide guidelines-based asthma care in a 15-minute visit.

Inhaled Corticosteroids

Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are the most effective medications for long-term management of persistent asthma, and should be utilized by patients and clinicians as is recommended in the guidelines for control of asthma. The updated guidelines include three options for taking inhaled steroid controller medicines.
  • The first option is to take inhaled steroids every day to control asthma, and to use quick-relief medicine at the first sign of asthma symptoms.
  • A second (new) option recommends that people with asthma use inhaled steroids and quick-relief medicines at the same time for asthma symptoms.
  • A third (new) option is a treatment option known as SMART (Single Maintenance And Reliever Therapy). SMART uses one inhaler that combines formoterol and an inhaled steroid which acts as both a daily control medicine and a relief medicine.

Check Asthma Severity

At diagnosis, all patients should have an initial severity assessment based on measures of current impairment and future risk in order to determine type and level of initial therapy needed.

Asthma Action Plans

All people who have asthma should receive a written asthma action plan to guide their self-management efforts.

Check Asthma Control

At planned follow-up visits, asthma patients should review level of control with their health care provider based on multiple measures of current impairment and future risk in order to guide clinician decisions to either maintain or adjust therapy.

Follow-up Visits

Patients who have asthma should be scheduled for planned follow-up visits at periodic intervals in order to assess their asthma control and modify treatment if needed.

Environmental Control

Clinicians should review each patient's exposure to allergens and irritants and provide a multipronged strategy to reduce exposure to those allergens and irritants to which a patient is sensitive and exposed, i.e., that make the patient's asthma worse.

Other Information For Clinicians

Special Populations & Situations


Pharmacists can help asthma patients by educating them about how to keep their asthma under control, and how to tell if it isn’t. Learn more about pharmacy resources for asthma.

Patient Resources

Spacers & Valved-Holding Chambers: Do you prescribe a spacer/valved-holding chamber every time you prescribe a rescue inhaler and for many long term control inhalers? Studies show that much more of the inhaler medication gets to the lungs when using a spacer than without one, and you want your patient to get all of their medication. Access is easier than ever, especially for Michigan Medicaid members.

The Michigan Asthma Resource Kit (MARK) has many handouts that can help your patients better understand and manage their asthma, including information about medications, triggers, devices and health insurance.

Clinician Resources

Asthma educators information

About and for asthma educators