Ensuring Equitable Access to Hypertension Management
May 27, 2022
May is High Blood Pressure Education Month and Neighborhood Health ensures equitable access to treatment for high blood pressure for our low-income patients.
In January 2021, Neighborhood Health began participating in the 3-year HRSA National Hypertension Control Initiative: Addressing Disparities among Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations designed to increase the number of adult patients with controlled hypertension. The initiative focuses on the evidence-based use of Bluetooth enabled home self-monitoring blood pressure cuffs to allow patients to collect blood pressure readings at home and receive medication management via telehealth. This approach has proven highly effective because it results in more accurate blood pressure readings and decreases the need for patients to come into the clinic. For many of our low-income patients, getting time off from work and having transportation to attend appointments are significant barriers to receiving the care they need to manage this chronic condition.
With funding from this initiative, Neighborhood Health is providing patients with hypertension, and who are interested, with blood pressure cuffs as well as one-on-one case management to teach patients to properly measure their blood pressure and how to link the device to the internet. Results populate directly into the electronic medical record so the medical provider can review the readings and make treatment changes over telehealth or in-person visits. Thanks to Neighborhood Health donors, we are also providing patients free transportation to the clinic for their orientation and follow-up sessions as needed.
In order to keep Neighborhood Health clinical providers up to date on best practices for hypertension management, we have two Clinical Champions – Dr. Cindy Anderson and Dr. Maria Giraldo – who provide trainings as well as guidance for clinicians and case managers.
Neighborhood Health has been successfully piloting the program and is now in the process of expanding it to all adult patients with hypertension.