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Implementation and barriers to uptake of interactive voice response technology aimed to improve blood pressure control at a large academic medical center.

Ashjian EJ, Yoo A, Piette JD, Choe HM, Thompson AN. Implementation and barriers to uptake of interactive voice response technology aimed to improve blood pressure control at a large academic medical center. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association : JAPhA. 2019 Mar 1; 59(2S):S104-S109.e1.

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OBJECTIVES: Blood pressure control among patients with hypertension is a widely recognized quality metric, but many large health systems fail to reach targets set by the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set. We developed an interactive voice response (IVR) system called the "Mobile You Blood Pressure Program" at a large academic medical center and linked it to the health system's electronic health record (EHR). The goal of the program was to capture home blood pressure readings in the EHR and to alert ambulatory care clinical pharmacists automatically of readings below or above clinical thresholds through direct messaging in the EHR. The goal of this report is to describe implementation of IVR, initial patient participation rates, and pharmacist-identified barriers to patient enrollment. SETTING: Ambulatory care clinical pharmacist specialists' practice in 14 clinics in family medicine and internal medicine at Michigan Medicine, an academic health system serving more than 24,000 patients with a diagnosis of hypertension. PRACTICE DESCRIPTION: This study describes implementation and initial patient enrollment in IVR linked to the EHR for home blood pressure monitoring. EVALUATION: We tracked the number of hypertensive patients enrolled and IVR call completion rates between September 2017 and February 2018. We also assessed pharmacist-identified barriers to patient enrollment during 2 separate 2-week intervals in January and February 2018. RESULTS: Between September 1, 2017, and February 28, 2018, a total of 71 patients were enrolled from 14 clinics. Patients were scheduled for 1-3 IVR calls per week focusing on medication adherence and blood pressure control. A total of 936 IVR phone calls were made, with 488 (52%) calls completed. Access to a validated home blood pressure monitor was the largest pharmacist-identified barrier to patient enrollment. CONCLUSIONS: The IVR Mobile You Blood Pressure Program represents a new application of digital technology within our health system. Pharmacist-identified barriers to patient participation included access to a validated home blood pressure monitor.

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