Portland, Oregon, January 28, 2023 - The American Heart Association is working with Vancouver Clinic to improve blood pressure care for patients in southwest Washington.
More than one in four adults in Washington suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure is a chronic condition that leads to heart disease, stroke and other diseases that result in premature death. Often it has no signs or symptoms. In fact, many people living with high blood pressure do not know they are hypertensive due to lack of access to medical care or resources in their community.
Local Association staff meet regularly with Vancouver Clinic staff to discuss evidence-based approaches to improve blood pressure care for their 300,000 patients. Together, we discuss initiatives such as a Self-Monitoring Blood Pressure program and standardized staff training. While Vancouver Clinic initially wanted to implement a lending library, the prevalence of COVID-19 pushed them towards gifting patients with blood pressure cuffs instead to ensure safety.
The Self-Monitoring Blood Pressure Program started in 2020 by enrolling nine Vancouver Clinic locations in Target: BP with support and initial cuffs from the association. These cuffs provide hypertensive patients the opportunity to manage their blood pressure from home. Enrolled patients have access to blood pressure management education resources and receive instructions on how to use the device. Based on the readings recorded by the blood pressure monitoring device in MyChart, patients receive follow-up from staff as part of their treatment plan.
In July 2022, Vancouver Clinic began to see the results of the established collaboration through hypertension control rates and received more cuffs with which to better support their patient population. Additionally, Vancouver Clinic standardized training for staff involved in hypertension care. The training will be held every 6–12 months, using a structured curriculum based on the American Heart Association’s Target:BP guidelines. This training strengthens blood pressure measurement knowledge of all staff for optimal patient care.
The collaboration between Vancouver Clinic and the American Heart Association is helping to both address hypertension and implement systems for future improvement in southwest Washington.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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