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Team-based approaches needed to fight high blood pressure
Date:11/15/2013

D., co-author, AHA spokesperson and Chief of Cardiology, Research Medical Center, Kansas City.

According to the advisory, efforts to educate patients and providers have not been sufficient in bringing hypertension under control. Similarly, interventions targeting only physicians have not led to sufficiently consistent and meaningful improvements.

"The tools to control blood pressure have long been available, but hypertension control requires patient and physician involvement within a supportive system," said John G. Harold, M.D., MACC, president of the American College of Cardiology. "We are advocating a team approach that reduces barriers for patients and leverages the power of electronic health records to improve cardiovascular health."

So what works? More recent studies suggest that comprehensive hypertension programs that coordinate care using multiple resources may lead to better overall blood pressure control.

The advisory also provides examples of successful programs that could be emulated. One is a Kaiser Permanente program that increased the proportion of its patients with hypertension with well-controlled blood pressure from 44 percent in 2001 to more than 87 percent in 2011. The program focused on five main elements: creating a system-wide hypertension registry, providing regular feedback on hypertension control rates to providers, implementing and frequently updating an evidence-based treatment algorithm, using single-pill combination therapies and using medical assistants for follow-up blood pressure checks in order to help patients receive necessary treatment adjustments efficiently. Lifestyle changes for patients were strongly recommended as well.

The advisory provides eight principles for developing an effective high blood pressure treatment algorithm (and uses them to provide a usable example of such an algorithm):

1. Base the components and processes on the best available science.
2. Format the algorithm in a manner t
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Contact: Carrie Thacker
carrie.thacker@heart.org
214-706-1665
American Heart Association
Source:Eurekalert

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