Controlling Blood Pressure Through Better Clinical Decision Support

High blood pressure is a widespread and dangerous condition that increases patient risk for heart disease and stroke. Today’s providers are blessed with evidence-based protocols to help them better treat and manage patients with high blood pressure, yet they still encounter challenges when attempting to implement these protocols.

Clinical decision support (CDS) is a process for enhancing health-related decisions and actions with pertinent, organized clinical knowledge and patient information. CDS can improve blood pressure control by ensuring that the right people (patients and their providers) have the right information delivered through the right channel (such as an electronic health record) in the right format at the right time.

However, getting the “CDS Five Rights” correct is challenging. The Clinical Decision Support Collaborative for Performance Improvement (CDS/PI) initiative, led by TMIT Consulting, engaged with the Redwood Community Health Coalition to develop a set of quality improvement tools, standard configurations, and resources to help providers use CDS to better manage patients with hypertension. One of the coalition’s member centers, the Petaluma Health Center, was recognized by the Centers for Disease Control as one of 18 Hypertension Control Champions for 2015 from the Millions Hearts Campaign. Petaluma is the only California champion recognized, and is one of the few community health centers in the nation receiving this award. Nurit Licht, chief medical officer at Petaluma Health Center, noted, “Controlling hypertension takes a disciplined team-based approach. Bringing together data-driven decisionmaking and patient-centered treatment has led to significant and sustained improvements for our patients.”

To read a final report describing the project activities and results, visit the CDS/PI Collaborative site.