For decades, the pharmaceutical industry has used one-on-one office visits as an effective way to introduce physicians to new treatment protocols. Now a Rochester health initiative has adapted that model to help improve the treatment of high blood pressure in our region.
The High Blood Pressure Collaborative provides specially trained Practice Improvement Consultants to meet with physicians, nurse practitioners or physician assistants at their office. These consultants -- all physicians from the Rochester region -- offer an effective and convenient way for providers to improve patient outcomes and stay up to date on evidence-based approaches to improving high blood pressure.
Frequently Asked Questions for Clinicians
I’ve been treating high blood pressure for years. Why bother with a consultant?
With the demands of running a busy office and seeing patients, it’s difficult to stay abreast of the latest developments in research, technology and treatment guidelines. Electronic medical records, home monitoring for high blood pressure and other proven innovations in care have created new ways to help patients get this dangerous and common condition under control.
Our consultants will work with you to determine which methods and quality improvement initiatives will work best with your team. Unlike drug reps, our consultants are not there to sell you a product, but to share best practices. They will listen to the challenges your practice faces and help you identify potential barrier and solutions.
What's the time investment?
Participation is not time intensive. Our consultants can meet for as little as one hour every six months. However, quarterly meetings are preferred and each practice is encouraged to identify a “champion” who can help implement the changes that can lead to improved blood pressure.
What's the financial investment?
Consulting is provided at no cost to you. In addition, each practice receives a modest stipend to pay for equipment or services for their quality improvement initiatives. The support can cover:
- Blood pressure cuffs
- Educational material for patients
How does this affect my bottom line?
Our consultants focus on patient outcomes around high blood pressure. With the move toward value-based payment in health care, practices that are ahead of the curve in improving patient outcomes will be better positioned to meet performance requirements for reimbursement.
How will I measure improvement?
Participating in this initiative gives you access to our high blood pressure registry, a communitywide resource that aggregates electronic clinical data from 65 area practices. Issued every six months, your registry report will allow you to see the high blood pressure control rate for your practice and how that compares to other local (but unidentified) medical practices. Consultants will walk you through your registry results and show you how to use this straightforward data tool to monitor your progress and identify areas for improvement.
Shown below is a sample page from the registry report.
Does consulting work?
Preliminary results from the first two years of this program show more improvement in high blood pressure control for the 20 Rochester area practices that have worked with our consultants than in the 45 area practices that contribute data to the registry but did not work with a consultant.
Participation was associated with a 1.4 point (95% CI: 1.1, 1.6) reduction in systolic blood pressure after adjustment for age, race/ethnicity and sex. In addition, practices that worked with a consultant had fewer patients with no blood pressure reading over the past 12 months than nonparticipants, 5.9 percent vs. 11.0 percent. And those that engaged with the program the most, showed the greatest improvement in control rates.
What are the goals of this program?
Coaching focuses on:
- Improving management of patients with hypertension
- Reducing overall cardiovascular risk of hypertensive patients
- Reducing racial disparities in high blood pressure control
- Increasing high blood pressure control rates to 85 percent or above
To arrange for a consultation or for more information about the Practice Improvment Consultant program, contact: Dr. Matthew Devine at Mathew_Devine@URMC.Rochester.edu