Improving Hypertension _ Diabetes Control and Prevention
An e-NEWSLETTER from Quality Insights                                                                                  February 24, 2017

In This Issue


Dr. Renzi successIs "white coat syndrome"' real? That's one of the questions Dr. Stephen Renzi from Troy, PA addresses when he engages his patients on self-management of blood pressure. He has instituted a new program in his practice to encourage and enable patients to take blood pressure (BP) readings at home as they go about their daily lives and activities. 
Over the years, drug company representatives have provided the practice with approximately a dozen self-use BP measurement devices. Dr. Renzi set up a program and process to loan those cuffs to patients. Typically, if a BP reading is high during an office visit, the doctor instructs the patient to take readings twice a day - in the morning and in the evening - for a two-week period. Patients receive training on how to take their BP accurately. The results are recorded on a paper log that comes with the device. The results are then scanned into the EHR at the next visit. 

Patients are usually compliant in obtaining their home readings because they don't believe they have high BP and want to prove that the office readings are not accurate. Daily readings at home often reveal that the high BP readings that were obtained in the office were valid. In that case, Dr. Renzi prescribes an anti-hypertensive medication and requests that patients continue home monitoring for an additional two weeks. In follow-up visits, Dr. Renzi can then assess the effectiveness of the prescribed drug dosage and make adjustments accordingly.
home bp monitor Staff maintains a log listing patients in the program who have received the loaner devices. If patients are enrolled in a portal set up by another practice or health system, the staff will try to obtain readings recorded at those facilities. The front desk also calls patients to remind them to record readings and to return the cuff to their next visit. 

Occasionally, cuffs are not returned but fortunately the drug company representative has offered to provide additional equipment, as needed. The loaner program has been in place for three to four years. The practice loans about 24 devices per year to patients for home monitoring. 

The home BP monitor loaner program instituted by Dr. Renzi has been a success. Patients are able to take their BP readings at home, in a low stress environment, and realize that they do have unaddressed hypertension and can quickly receive the medication they need before their condition worsens.  
key steps to share with your patients about self-measured blood pressure monitoring   

blood pressure cuff keyAs a part of the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Medical Association's (AMA) Target BP national initiative, this fact sheet and podcast explain the key steps patients must follow to effectively self-measure blood pressure (SMBP) at home, document their SMBP readings and take action to improve their blood pressure.

access your patient's self-measured results using heart360 ®  

heart360Heart360® is an easy-to-use tool that your patients can use to understand and track the factors that influence their heart health. Connect with your patients and monitor their progress. 

Click here to download this handy tool.
practice partners with its community to control high bp 

videoIn this Target:BP  video , Family Health Center at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center shares how it successfully implemented the M.A.P. framework to improve blood pressure control among their patients. 

The practice also share how it taps into community resources to help educate people about nutrition, self-monitoring, and the basics of blood pressure control.
Join the target:bp campaign

targetBPRegister for Target:BP and join this initiative to reduce the number of Americans living with uncontrolled blood pressure. 

Once registered, participants will receive guidance and support from American Heart Association (AHA) field staff, as well as a newsletter providing the latest cardiovascular news and information.

free patient education resources for SELF-MEASURED BLOOD PRESSURE MONITORING

free tools patientresourcesA key part of the M.A.P. framework is partnering with patients. As healthcare providers, our goal is to help patients understand their risks and teach them how to manage and monitor their BP in order to have better overall health.

Share the following resources with your patients to help them better understand the basics of monitoring BP at home.
enter the "take avocado to heart recipe contest ™"  

avocado dish avocado2Because avocados can be a delicious part of a heart-healthy diet, the American Heart Association (AHA) is searching for easy, healthy and original avocado recipes. There are three recipe categories in the contest: (1)  Appetizers, (2)  Entrées, and (3)  Desserts/Smoothies.

Nine winners will receive up to $1,000 grand prize, have their recipe published on the AHA's new, online Recipe Hub   and be promoted through social media. The deadline to enter is February 27, 2017.

The AHA will post the top nine recipes on its Facebook page for voting on March 20, 2017. Winners will be announced on March 29, 2017 via email and social media. If you have questions or need additional information about the contest, please email

The Take Avocado to Heart™ recipe contest is in support of the American Heart Association's Healthy For Good movement, helping to motivate, inspire and educate Americans to live healthier lives. 

grocery store chain offers free blood pressure tracker

heart health groceryDo you have a Giant Eagle grocery store in your area? If so, you should encourage your patients to get a My Blood Pressure Management Smart Card from the Giant Eagle pharmacy and use it to access a free website to view blood pressure results, print reports, and even email "live links" to their healthcare provider.  Click here for more details.
contact information

For more details about the Improving Hypertension and Diabetes Care & Prevention project, please email Rhonda Dodson or call 1.800.642.8686, Ext. 7711.
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