Evolution of inhaled corticosteroid prescription rates during the COVID-19 pandemic
ChartNumber of inhaled corticosteroids prescribed in primary care during the first containment of the COVID-19 pandemic in England, compared to the previous year
As we approach another tough winter in the NHS for respiratory services and the potential for future blockages, it is important to ensure that clinicians can take advantage of any improvements in levels of adherence and motivation to the hospital. Self-management, prescribers must be supported to optimize both aspects during telemedicine and face-to-face consultations. Patients and clinicians should be given the opportunity to suggest and choose the most efficient and convenient method of consultation. Opportunities to check and improve the level of adherence and visualize the inhalation technique should be prioritized as a key part of the consultation. Innovations in telemedicine and home monitoring, including virtual spirometry, auscultation, oxygen saturation, and electronic inhaler compliance monitoring, are essential tools to help prescribers make treatment decisions. informed with patients. Prescribing appropriate quantities of drugs to ensure the supply chain is not unduly affected during peak demand periods must continue. Pharmacists, and the entire team, are in a good position to ensure that drug requests are appropriate and timely, as well as to provide additional support, self-care advice, and verify technique. patient inhalation. The expansion of diagnostic tools available to patients via the smartphone at home, without the appropriate multidisciplinary support to use them effectively, could have serious consequences. The importance of well-informed and supported self-management plans, including when to seek medical help during an acute attack, will become increasingly vital. By improving and further evaluating the diagnostic and monitoring capabilities of telemedicine, healthcare professionals will effectively help patients manage their symptoms virtually at home and optimize treatment choices.
We do not declare any competing interests.
Posted: 09 December 2021
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