In an effort to help clinical practices use health information technology (health IT) like electronic health records (EHRs) to reduce high blood pressure, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today launched a new challenge asking health care professionals and other caregivers to submit the tools they use to improve patient care.
The EHR Innovations for Improving Hypertension Challenge, launched by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), is part of Million Hearts, a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Million Hearts brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies including ONC, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke.
“Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in the U.S. and there are many health-care providers who employ clinical decision support tools, like standardized treatment approaches or protocols to control hypertension among their patients. This challenge helps us find the best examples of those efforts and scale them up,” said Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, national coordinator for health information technology.
Evidence-based treatment protocols provide a playbook for providers to guide their selection of effective therapies for blood pressure control, contributing to better health, better health care and lower costs for patients. The deadline for submissions is October 6 and winners will be announced on Oct. 28.