AHRQ’s Health Care Innovations Exchange Focuses on Primary Care Innovations To Improve Cardiovascular Health
The current issue of AHRQ’s Health Care Innovations Exchangefeatures three programs that used innovative approaches to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve patient outcomes. Oneprofile describes a program by NorthShore University HealthSystem in Chicago’s northern suburbs that provides clinicians in 40 primary care practices a monthly list of patients at risk of undiagnosed hypertension. Practice staff contact patients to schedule standardized visits for blood pressure measurement and primary care evaluation. In this program, electronic health records also generate automatic alerts whenever an at-risk patient visits the office regardless of the reason for the visit. Once patients arrive at the office, a blood pressure measurement is determined by using an automated device that averages five blood pressure readings taken while the patient sits alone in the examination room. The program has been effective, reducing the percentage of at-risk patients remaining undiagnosed for hypertension by approximately 70 percent.