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Improving cardiovascular outcomes by using team-supported, EHR-leveraged, active management: Disseminating a successful quality improvement project.

Lewinski AA, Bosworth HB, Goldstein KM, Gierisch JM, Jazowski S, McCant F, White-Clark C, Smith VA, Zullig LL. Improving cardiovascular outcomes by using team-supported, EHR-leveraged, active management: Disseminating a successful quality improvement project. Contemporary clinical trials communications. 2021 Mar 1; 21(1):100705.

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BACKGROUND: Uncontrolled blood pressure (BP) is common among Veterans. Rural Veterans are at risk for suboptimal care coordination as successful programs may be implemented at lower rates due to individual- and system-level factors. There is strong evidence to support the use of remotely delivered support and patient-generated data from home BP monitors and virtual BP visits to manage BP. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this project is to augment the current approach to addressing uncontrolled BP so that existing clinical staff can reach a larger patient population. METHODS: Our project will address uncontrolled BP by leveraging team-based care, the Veteran's Health Administration Electronic Health Record, and patient-centered medical home data to address patient, provider, and system barriers to cardiovascular disease (CVD) preventive care. We will implement this project in cardiovascular disease practices in three rural Veterans Health Administration clinics. We will evaluate implementation processes as well as patient-level (e.g., clinical outcomes, referrals to specialty services) outcomes in a one-arm, pre-post design. DISCUSSION: This manuscript describes our process in expanding the implementation of a successful project to improve BP control in high-risk, rural Veterans. Findings from our study will inform an understanding of both implementation and clinical effectiveness outcomes of a potentially scalable BP intervention in rural, community-based clinics. Appropriate management of Veterans with uncontrolled BP can reduce morbidity and mortality related to CVD. In turn, improvements in BP, can lead to improved quality metrics and potentially decrease costs for a healthcare system.

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