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Team-Based Approaches Needed to Fight Hypertension

Experts offer principles for developing effective treatment algorithm (November 15)

Rates of uncontrolled hypertension continue to grow despite the availability of proven treatments, but collaborative approaches can be effective in fighting this deadly disease, according to a science advisory from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The advisory calls for local, regional, and national programs that offer coordinated care using multiple resources to achieve better blood pressure control in all patients.

The advisory also recommends that health care, industry, and communities prioritize people with hypertension who are receiving treatment but haven’t achieved their target blood pressure. The writing-group members note that of those with uncontrolled hypertension, nearly 90% see a health care provider regularly, and 85% have health insurance.

The advisory provides eight principles for developing an effective hypertension treatment algorithm:

  • Base the components and processes on the best available science.
  • Format the algorithm in a manner that is simple to update as new evidence becomes available.
  • Use a feasible, simple implementation strategy.
  • Include a patient version at the appropriate scientific and language literacy level.
  • Consider the costs of diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment.
  • Use a format that can be easily incorporated within a team approach to health care.
  • Use a format that can be incorporated into electronic health records for clinical decision support.
  • Include a disclaimer to ensure that the algorithm is not used to counter the treating health care provider’s best clinical judgment.

Source: American Heart Association; November 15, 2013.

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