Achieving 70% Hypertension Control: How Hard Can It Be?


      Although decades of research support hypertension treatment, studies guiding the successful implementation of programs to control blood pressure (BP) in real-world primary care settings are sparse.


      In this study a multicomponent intervention was implemented, with the following goals: (1) achieve 70% control of hypertension within 18 months, (2) use the RE-AIM (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance) framework to evaluate the implementation of the program, and (3) assess additional actions that could have been undertaken to achieve control among those who remained uncontrolled.


      Of 786 patients, 597 achieved BP control (75.9%; improvement of 20.9 percentage points). For RE-AIM outcomes, (1) staff performed outreach for all uncontrolled patients, with 75.3% making follow-up appointments, and 61.3% attending at least one appointment; (2) the proportion of faculty with at least 70% control increased from 26.7% to 87.5%, indicating significant physician adoption; (3) implementation outcomes were mixed, with four of six medical assistant BP training sessions completed, outreach calls performed in 16 of 18 months, but only 24 patients referred to the patient counseling and medication management program. For maintenance, 70% control was maintained for a 7-month observation period. The research team determined that 16.8% of those uncontrolled could have had additional actions taken to achieve control.


      The goal of 70% control was achieved, improving control by 20.9 percentage points over 18 months. The RE-AIM framework evaluation demonstrated successful implementation and likely contributed to achievement of the target. The chart review findings revealed that a minority of patients could have additional interventions provided by the primary care practice.
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