Stoplight (Red-Yellow-Green) Tools for Patients with Asthma or Diabetes

Improving Chronic Illness Care
Seattle, Washington, USA

"Stoplight" tools assist patients with monitoring and managing their chronic condition by dividing various signs and symptoms into "green," "yellow," and "red" management zones.

The analogy of a stoplight can be useful in teaching patients about monitoring and managing their chronic condition. "Stoplight" tools divide various signs and symptoms (e.g., daily weight for chronic heart failure patients or blood glucose levels for diabetics) into "green," "yellow," and "red" management zones.
  • Green = stability and good control over the condition
  • Yellow = caution and suggests steps for regaining control
  • Red = a medical crisis that requires a provider’s attention

It is suggested that a copy of this document be kept with the patient or in a prominent place in the home or place of work and, in the case of children, at school or day care. The "Stoplight" charts can be adapted for standards of care in your setting.


This tool was adapted from the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska, USA.
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