An old tool takes on new meaning

March 19, 2018

We’re all familiar with the classic wooden yardstick, a tool you always want to have around. What exactly do wooden rulers have to do with medicine? Yardsticks, in this context, represent a standard guideline, a touchstone, a point of reference. The College is dedicated to developing yardsticks to help guide your patient treatment decisions. College member experts and others work together to author these helpful tools. The College yardsticks include:

  1. Severe asthma – Tackles practical recommendations for a sustained step up in asthma therapy for poorly-controlled asthma. This yardstick helps you navigate the influx of new medications and approaches that are not covered by existing guidelines. The yardstick is intended to complement the most recent national and international guidelines and follow the NHLBI/GINA guideline framework.
  2. Atopic dermatitis –This yardstick dives into both the first-line management and treatment of atopic dermatitis and the management and treatment of the difficult-to-manage atopic dermatitis patient. It also includes patient profiles to help identify patients who are appropriate for the interventions discussed.
  3. Pediatric severe asthma –This yardstick is split into two paths – one for children and one for adolescents. We just submitted this to Annals, and look forward to it being published soon. It defines additional interventions to address the lack of asthma symptom control in children with asthma at the GINA management steps 3, 4, 5 (comparable NHLBI steps 3, 4, 5, 6); and identify the patients who are appropriate for each intervention. The yardstick will help you better treat your pediatric patients with asthma, particularly those who do not always respond to recommended therapies.
  4. Asthma step down – This workgroup will soon convene to work on crafting the yardstick on step down asthma treatment. Stay tuned!

We will be adding one more topic this year.

These yardsticks can be rapidly updated to change as new treatment options enter our armamentarium. Typical guidelines can involves more than 100 people, and the process often involves government funding (which takes funding away from research and development).

Don’t forget about these important tools for your practice and patients – check them out and bookmark them.

Bradley E. Chipps, MD, FACAAI
ACAAI President