Improving Cardiovascular Health and Reducing Cardiovascular Healthcare Disparities
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease and stroke are the first and fourth leading causes of respectively, in the U.S. for all groups. In September 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services launched Million Hearts®, a national initiative with the explicit goal to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Million Hearts seeks to address risk factors, including hypertension, smoking and high cholesterol and increase behaviors, such as aspirin use and tobacco cessation for those who need it.
The Atlantic Quality Innovation Network (AQIN) collaborates with providers and beneficiaries along with key partners and stakeholders to implement evidence-based practices in order to support this goal. AQIN aims to reach this target by focusing on improving the Million Hearts ABCS: aspirin therapy when appropriate, blood pressure control, cholesterol management, and smoking screening and cessation.
AQIN is providing technical assistance to practices that join the cardiovascular health project by:
- Optimizing the use of electronic health records to improve cardiovascular health.
- Assisting in data collection, validation, analysis, and feedback on the ABCS metrics.
- Coordinating care and measure improvement in the health of patients who are at most risk for a heart attack or stroke.
- Improving patient self-management of cardiovascular disease.
- Linking to resources for care coordination and patient self management.
AQIN is supporting certified home health agencies that join the project to improve cardiovascular health and reduce hospitalizations for patients with cardiac disease by:
- Facilitating participation in the national Home Health Cardiovascular Data Registry.
- Providing technical assistance/training in producing accurate and reliable reports of cardiovascular-related measures.
- Providing educational programs, best practices, intervention tools, resources.
- Identifying opportunities to enhance communication among home health agencies and other care providers.