Uncontrolled blood pressure causes nearly 400,000 deaths per year in the United States. Medications are available to control blood pressure, but often multiple medications are required, and it is not always clear if and when medication changes are needed. Patients and clinicians worry about blood pressure, wonder how to measure it accurately and conveniently, and want better ways to control it with fewer medications that are more convenient to take and cause fewer side effects. New programs and new technology are being developed that could help control blood pressure, but it’s not clear which will be most effective.
We are working with our partners—the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Medical Association (AMA)—to find effective ways to control blood pressure. We will use data already being collected by doctors’ offices across the country to find new ways to improve blood pressure. Blood pressure measurements collected in doctors’ offices can demonstrate which offices already successfully control their patients’ blood pressure, and which need help. We’ll then compare two different ways of helping doctors’ offices control blood pressure—by giving them access to several AMA/AHA materials that can help doctors improve their methods, with or without a “practice facilitator” who can guide their use of those materials.
Finally, we’ll test two different types of home blood pressure monitors—one that connects with a smartphone, and one that does not—to see which is more effective at helping patients achieve their own personal goals for blood pressure control. The Health eHeart Alliance, which leads this project, is a patient-powered research network. The Alliance will support and pay a patient advisory board with a lead patient, three patient representatives on the steering committee, and a voice in all major project decisions. The patient advisory board will be particularly involved in overseeing things that patients will need to read and respond to, and will help us spread the word about our results. We hope our study will help patients and their doctors across the country meet their goals for blood pressure control and improved heart health.
*All proposed projects, including requested budgets and project periods, are approved subject to a programmatic and budget review by PCORI staff and the negotiation of a formal award contract.