H3-participating practices find their HIPS patients

Monday, February 27, 2017

Hiding in Plain SightHow many of your patients have hypertension, but just don’t know it? Five Indiana clinics participating in the Healthy Hearts in the Heartland (H3) research program agreed to find out by running customized reports to target hypertensive patients “Hiding in Plain Sight” or HIPS.

Million Hearts® offers an online Hypertension Prevalence Estimator Tool to generate an expected percentage of patients with hypertension based on the specific characteristics of the clinic’s patient population. But getting customized reports from vendors to plug in numbers to this tool can be difficult, so Purdue Healthcare Advisors’ H3 facilitator Jennifer Anglin, CHES, PCMH CCE, MUCP, helped five of her H3 practices generate their own HIPS searches based on parameters from the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). They targeted patients 18 or older with no diagnosis of hypertension, and at least one high BP reading (over 140 systolic and/or over 90 diastolic) within the past six months.

“Many things can elevate your blood pressure when you are at the doctor's office,” said Anglin. “Pain, White Coat Hypertension, eating salty foods or drinking caffeine may do it. So one or two readings do not necessarily make a patient hypertensive. However, they might be worth keeping an eye on just in case it’s not a fluke.”

Each office generated a report of between 30-55 potential HIPS patients, and their respective staff met to plan strategy. They determined who would make the follow-up calls; what the caller would say; what workflow they would use (walk-in nurse visit, scheduled nurse visit, provider visit, etc.); and what workflow would be necessary to get the updated reading to the provider. Overall, Anglin said the practices had an easier time than anticipated pulling the reports, reaching out to targeted patients, and coaxing them back in for evaluation. The results from two clinics are in, and she said they have resonated with her clients.

Of the 50 patients contacted in the first clinic, 11 returned for a BP check. BP readings, for the most part, were found to be in the normal range with the exception of one patient who was placed on anti-hypertensive medication. Of the 55 patients called by in the second clinic, 20 returned for a BP check. Several patients in this group were found to have high blood pressure, and two were sent directly to the ER to be treated for a hypertensive emergency. This clinic plans to repeat its HIPS patient search every three months.


Writer: Jennifer Anglin, 574-773-5870, anglinj@purdue.edu

Tags: Quality Services

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