MONDAY, March 9, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Many opportunities have been identified for improving blood pressure (BP) control, according to a study published online March 6 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes to coincide with a presentation at the American Heart Association Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2020 Scientific Sessions, held from March 3 to 6 in Phoenix.

Rhonda M. Cooper-DeHoff, Pharm.D., from the University of Florida in Gainesville, and colleagues produced a set of quality metrics relevant to improving BP control using queries against standardized electronic health record (EHR) data in the national Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network Common Data Model format. The metrics were reported back to health systems to allow for observation of trends.

The researchers found that to date, 19 datamarts had contributed EHR data from 1,177,232 patients who met eligibility criteria for the BP Control measure and 4,454,729 encounters that included a BP measurement. The results demonstrated considerable scope for improvement in BP control (60 percent had BP <140/90 mm Hg) and in health care processes, including medication intensification (12 percent) and use of fixed-dose combination medications (24 percent).

“We were particularly struck by the low rates of medication intensification when blood pressure is found to be high during a clinic visit — if we can improve medication prescribing rates, our data suggest we could make a big difference in blood pressure control,” Cooper-DeHoff said in a statement.

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