Lone Star Circle of Care is making strides to lower blood pressure in our patient population, hoping to decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke. Check out this article below, from the American Heart Association, detailing our efforts.
[From the American Heart Association News website, posted July 27, 2016]
More than 300 hospitals, clinics, healthcare centers and health systems serving a combined 32 million patients have joined a nationwide initiative launched last November to lower Americans’ blood pressure.
The American Heart Association and American Medical Association’s Target: BP program gives doctors tools and science-based recommendations for preventing, diagnosing and treating high blood pressure, a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke. But it is the program’s patient support component, which many clinics and office-based providers lack, that is drawing the attention of centers such as Central Texas-based Lone Star Circle of Care.
Lone Star Circle of Care’s 17 sites help about 71,000 underserved patients — from children to seniors — with all types of health issues, including high blood pressure. The center’s chief medical information officer Tracy Angelocci, M.D., said that impending healthcare payment reforms will require providers such as Lone Star Circle of Care to show acceptable clinical results in order to be reimbursed. Clinical decision support tools embedded in electronic health records can assist providers in reaching clinical goals, such as blood pressure control.
What’s often missing, Angelocci said, is the patient engagement component — in other words, what patients do to control their blood pressure once they leave the doctor’s office.
Through Target: BP, Lone Star Circle of Care’s electronic health records automatically help providers quickly determine whether a patient is on the correct combination of blood pressure medications. Even conversations about lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise, not smoking and sticking to a nutrition plan for blood pressure control, are documented in the patient’s health record, said Lindsey Ripley, program design manager at Lone Star Circle of Care.
While it’s too early to know whether plugging into Target: BP will increase the percentage of patients getting their blood pressure down below the threshold of 140/90 mmHg, Angelocci said Target: BP’s extensive patient support options could be key for improving blood pressure control.