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Large-Scale Kaiser Permanente Program Linked to Improved Blood Pressure Control
Date:8/20/2013

ascular disease. Blood pressure control remains elusive nationally, despite widespread availability of effective therapies, and limited data exist about the implementation and results of large, sustained hypertension programs. 

Kaiser Permanente Northern California introduced the hypertension program in 2001 as a multifaceted approach to blood pressure control and quality improvement. A number of differentiating practices drove the program's success, including a comprehensive hypertension patient registry, which increased from 349,937 or 15.4 percent of adult membership to 652,763 or 27.5 percent of adult membership between 2001 and 2009. By using frequent hypertension control quality reports, Kaiser Permanente was able to quickly identify high-performing medical centers and implement their successful practices and innovations system-wide. The program also supplied clinicians with a frequently updated evidence-based, four-step hypertension control algorithm.

The program encouraged single-pill combination therapy — combining multiple drugs into one pill. This strategy has advantages, including improved adherence, lower patient cost and improved blood pressure control. Medical assistants also followed up with patients two to four weeks after medication adjustments and informed the primary-care physician, who then directed treatment decisions and follow-up planning. This process accelerated treatment intensification without significantly increasing the need for repeat clinician visits, while simultaneously improving patient convenience and affordability.

"This is the first successful, large-scale program sustained over a long period of time," said Dr. Jaffe. "Following the study period, our hypertension control rates have continued to improve from nearly 84 percent in 2010 to 87 percent in 2011. This has huge implications for the health of our members because this success translates into reduced risk of stroke and heart disease."<
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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