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Under Pressure: The Hypertension Control Challenge

February creates a lot of stress and pressure for health centers working diligently to get UDS measures in order and submitted.  But now that it is over, it’s a good time to be thinking about what you’ll be focusing on in the next year and taking a look at your blood pressure control for patients with Hypertension can be a great place to start.

I would venture to say that most of us reading this know someone that has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or has had some type of cardiac event.  We also know that early intervention including education and treatment of high blood pressure or other factors that impact heart health can make a difference. Lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, smoking cessation and medication management help improve the overall quality of life, as well as prevent hospitalizations and complications.

February was National Heart Month, and even though the pressure of UDS is gone,  I’d recommend that we keep the ‘pressure on’ blood pressure. On February 14, the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC), launched the Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge to identify practices, clinicians, and health systems that have exceptional rates of hypertension control (>80%)with a goal of preventing 1 million cardiac events by 2022.  The 2017 UDS National Data reveals that 62% of patients with Hypertension have BP control of <140/90. 62% of DRVS Users are performing at or above this level and 34% of DRVS centers are easily in range or reaching Million Hearts goal of 80% control.  Your center might already be there!  If so, you have until April 1 to submit your application, and if not, the challenge is on until 2022 so you are still in the game.

Azara DRVS has tools to support your Hypertension efforts and drive change*

What’s your current blood pressure control rate for patients with Hypertension?

  • Hypertension Controlling High Blood Pressure CMS 165/NQF 0018
  • Hypertension: Improvement in Blood Pressure CMS 65

Are you able to follow up on patients and work with them to actively manage their hypertension?

  • Hypertension BP Recorded
  • Hypertension Self-Management Goal
  • Hypertension Controlling High Blood Pressure – No Blood Pressure Taken
  • Self Measured Blood Pressure (SMBP)**
    • SMBP Community Program Referral
    • SMBP Program Recommendation
    • SMBP Use

Curious about the prevalence of hypertension in your population, identifying patients at risk and making sure they are appropriately diagnosed?

  • Million Hearts
    • Undiagnosed HTN
    • HTN Prevalence
  • High BP and Follow Up Documented CMS 22
  • BP at every visit

Monitor how well you are managing contributing factors to heart disease and hypertension.

  • BMI Screening and Follow-Up 18+ CMS 69v5
  • Tobacco Use Screening and Cessation CMS 138v6/NQF 0028

Pull it all together

  • Create a Hypertension Dashboard to track key performance indicators
  • Use the Patient Visit Planning Tool to manage the patients coming into the clinic and outstanding alerts.
  • Use the Point of Care Alert Closure measure to evaluate how teams are doing at the point of care.
  • Use the Hypertension Registry to manage the population, identify care gaps and conduct outreach.
  • Apply filters to understand the impact of social determinants or look at ‘at risk’ populations or follow a cohort you are managing.

Determine the right combination and use of the tools to help you keep the ‘pressure’ on and keep blood pressure down.

As an example, learn how Lynn Community Health Center earned recognition as a Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champion using DRVS and improved workflows to achieve blood pressure control for 80% of Patients

Depending on your focus additional measures are available but may require additional mapping. These include measures to support Self Measured Blood Pressure programs (currently available) and Hypertension Treatment Intensification measures (future).

* The following are measures available in DRVS. If you have questions, please reach out to support.

** May require additional cost for mapping