Lowering blood pressure leads to big honor for Sanford Health

March 7, 2018

This piece is presented by Sanford Health.

Sanford Health’s success in helping patients control their hypertension has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Health systems across the nation that helped at least 70 percent of their adult patients lower their blood pressure in the past year were named a Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champion. Sanford Health was one of 24 systems that received the recognition, helping 88.8 percent of patients achieve blood pressure control.

Helping improve the quality of life for those living with high blood pressure has been a point of emphasis for Sanford Health providers and teams for several years.

“Across our organization, we’ve created an integrated system that uses team-based care, standardization, transparency, accountability and leadership to identify and treat hypertension,” said Dr. Allison Suttle, chief medical officer for Sanford Health.

“No matter where a patient is in our system, the nurses and providers have accurate blood pressure readings to make recommendations and treatment plans for patients who have hypertension,” she said.

With electronic medical records, nurses and providers get real-time notifications if a patient’s blood pressure needs to be addressed. They also have access to a variety of resources to educate patients about lifestyle changes and the importance of managing their hypertension to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

“We standardized when, where and how blood pressure would be taken in all of our locations, clinics and hospitals,” Suttle said. “Regardless of what doctor you’re seeing or where you are, we’re checking blood pressure and monitoring readings over time. We are very transparent about the data and use best practices to personalize treatment plans and get the patient to come back in for follow-ups.”

Sanford Health’s practices have helped the organization become a leader in hypertension care.

“We committed to being above average, to become a high performer,” Suttle said. “When we hit our first target of helping 80 percent of patients with their blood pressure, we increased the target — we kept improving and striving to help more people.”

The Million Hearts award celebrates the organization’s outstanding improvement and sustainment in patients’ hypertension control.

“All areas of our Sanford Health network take responsibility for helping each patient,” Suttle said. “We believe we’re all taking care of this patient together, and we all are committed to their whole health.”

Lowering blood pressure leads to big honor for Sanford Health

Here’s how Sanford Health has become a leader in helping patients control high blood pressure.

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