Performance Improvement 2009. How Do Two Highly Successful Community Clinics Control Patients' Blood Pressure?


Researchers evaluated the Stroke and Heart Attack Prevention Program (SHAPP). The program provided treatment and medicines for poor Georgians. The average rate of blood pressure control among patients in SHAPP clinics was about 60 percent, compared with the national average of 35 percent. This evaluation found out what made the SHAPP clinics so successful. Patients increased their awareness of their blood pressure numbers and improved in taking their medicines and in keeping their clinic appointments.

Enrolling in the clinic was easy and patients were able to get needed medicines free or at a low-cost. The clinics used the most up-to-date medical guidelines and patient tracking systems. They regularly followed-up with patients to see how they were doing and to remind them to come in for their appointments. There was good communication between the staff and patients. The patients found that the staff made time for them, were accepting and nonjudgmental of their low-income status, and treated them well. The staff treated the patients with respect and taught patients and their families about what to do to keep blood pressure under control. The staff was dedicated and knew that the SHAPP clinics filled a need in the community. The patients trusted the staff and were satisfied with the care they got. The patients said that without SHAPP they would not have help they needed to keep their blood pressure under control. Georgia is the only state that supports blood pressure clinics for the poor. Better blood pressure control among patients will result in less kidney disease, stroke and heart attack, preventable suffering, and early deaths for Georgians.

Report Title: Implementing successful blood pressure control strategies in low income populations: evaluation of a stroke and heart attack prevention program.
Agency Sponsor: CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Federal Contact: Julie Zajac, 404-498-4381
Performer: Research Triangle Institute
PIC ID: 9024

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