Chosen as a Million Hearts Challenge Organization
Million Hearts®, a national initiative co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has a goal to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2022.
More than 1.5 million people in the U.S. annually suffer a heart attack or stroke, reports the American Heart Association, so the Million Hearts initiative is working to decrease that number.
Marshfield Clinic Health System and Security Health Plan have ongoing initiatives to improve hypertension control as a key strategic quality improvement. Because of this effort, the organizations applied for the Million Hearts Challenge and won.
“This national award highlights a great accomplishment the health system and Security Health Plan can be proud of," said Ann Gilbertson, director of care management and value-based care for the Institute for Quality, Innovation & Patient Safety (IQIPS). “This accomplishment is another example of how we provide quality care to our patients every day."
Only 17 solo practitioners, large health systems, community health centers and specialty groups were recognized as champions. In their work, these champions achieved blood pressure control for at least 80% of their adult patients with hypertension. Together, these champions cared for nearly 360,000 adults.
Several tactics went into meeting the goal of 80% blood pressure control. Health system staff are educated on consistent and accurate blood pressure screenings while providers are updated on the latest hypertension guidelines during grand rounds.
The process of taking a second blood pressure reading after the first one, if greater than 140/90, continues to be hardwired into the rooming process. Across the health system, standardized patient education around hypertension is established. Also, involvement with specialty care referring to primary care when hypertension is noted, has improved patient care.
Home blood pressure units were available for a subset of patients with Security Health Plan insurance that were willing to work with a care management nurse. Also, clinical quality coordinators addressed patients’ elevated blood pressures having those patients return for free blood pressure checks.
The Million Hearts Tools and Protocols that guided this work can be found at https://millionhearts.hhs.gov/tools-protocols/index.html