International Community Health Services (ICHS) has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as one of only 18 Hypertension Control Champions in the nation.
ICHS is the only one in Washington state to be named a 2015 Hypertension Control Champion, which honors health care organizations that use evidence-based strategies and patient engagement to help their patients achieve blood pressure control rates at or above the Million Hearts target of 70 percent. The 18 Champions, ranging from small practices to large health care systems throughout the U.S., provide care to nearly 1.5 million adults.
“Clinicians are our first line of defense against the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by high blood pressure each year,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We applaud the 2015 Champions and hope other health care teams learn from these successes and save even more lives.”
Nearly 1 in 3 American adults has high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Nearly half of adults with high blood pressure do not have their condition under control. Even more alarming, millions of Americans have high blood pressure that is undiagnosed or untreated. High blood pressure may also contribute to the development of dementia. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched the Million Hearts national initiative, with public and private partners, in 2011.
Besides ICHS, the 2015 Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champions are:
- AHRC Health Care Inc. (dba Access Community Health Center); New York City
- Albany Area Primary Health Care Inc.; Albany
- Altru Health System; Grand Forks
- Atrius Health; Newton
- Baltimore Medical System at Middlesex; Baltimore
- Hamakua Kohala Health; Honokaa
- Jason Infeld, M.D., FACC, Stern Cardiovascular Foundation; Germantown
- Kaiser Permanente Georgia and The Southeast Permanente Medical Group; Atlanta
- Kelsey-Seybold Clinic; Pearland
- Mercy Clinic East Communities; Washington
- OHSU Family Medicine at Richmond; Portland
- Petaluma Health Center; Petaluma
- Reliant Medical Group; Worcester
- Thundermist Health Center; Woonsocket
- Unity Family Medicine at St. Bernard’s; Rochester
- WESTMED Medical Group; Purchase
- Zufall Health Center; Dover
Saving lives through better blood pressure control has been a longstanding CDC priority. By recognizing the Champions’ performance and sharing their lessons learned, CDC aims to help other health care professionals achieve the same success in communities nationwide.
“We are excited to host this Challenge and showcase successful strategies used by our 2015 Champions to keep blood pressure under control, prevent heart attacks and strokes, and save lives,” said Janet Wright, M.D., a board-certified cardiologist and executive director of Million Hearts. “Health care teams can follow our Champions’ lead to take steps to identify patients in their practice who are at risk for or who have high blood pressure and connect them to the care they need.”
To be eligible, entrants shared verifiable high blood pressure control data and highlighted successful strategies and best practices adopted by the practice or system, such as the use of health information technology and team-based care. All Champions achieved control rates of 70 percent or greater for their adult patients by using a variety of approaches, including:
- Making high blood pressure control a priority
- Using evidence-based treatment guidelines and protocols
- Using health care teams to increase the frequency of contact with patients
- Implementing consistent, strategic use of electronic health records that include clinical decision support tools, patient reminders, and registry functionality
- Staying engaged with patients by offering free blood pressure checks and implementing the use of a patient navigator or care coordinator
Million Hearts is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in five years. CDC co-leads Million Hearts with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. For more information about the initiative and to access resources, visit http://millionhearts.hhs.gov.