Diverse health system achieves excellent rates of high blood pressure control

Pawhuska Indian Health Center of the Indian Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has received numerous awards and recognitions for their high-quality, efficient healthcare to American Indians and Alaska Natives through a multitude of primary care services and specialty services. But this year, the Pawhuska Indian Health Center added another award to their list. It’s the respected honor of being a Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge Champion.

With startling health statistics – such as nearly 1-in-3 American adults having high blood pressure – it’s no wonder that the Million Hearts® campaign was created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to focus on the prevention of 1 million heart attacks and strokes nationwide by 2017. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the initiative with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Subsequently, the Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge was designed to identify practices, clinicians and health systems that have worked with their patients to successfully reduce high blood pressure and improve heart health rates to greater than 70 percent.

Pawhuska Indian Health Center stepped up to the challenge. It wasn’t an easy task for the facility, because heart disease is the number one killer of more than 9,000 Oklahomans each year.

Pawhuska Indian Health Center attributes their successful control rate of more than 74 percent to exceptional team work, process improvements based on Improving Patient Care principles, and the use of tracking tools to identify patients who needed more assistance in reaching their blood pressure goals. Located in a 15,199 square-foot facility, the Health Center continues to apply these standards for quality healthcare while providing approximately 26,000 outpatient visits to its patients. They also provide behavioral health, dental, family medicine, laboratory, pediatrics, pharmacy and radiology services.

“We are very proud of Pawhuska Indian Health Center,” exclaims Tracy Prather, ambulatory practices specialist of OFMQ.  “This is an extraordinary accomplishment to be one of the nine medical practices nationally recognized for controlling hypertension.”

Other champions across country who achieved excellent rates of high blood pressure control rates include: Broadway Internal Medicine PC (New York), Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene (Keene, N.H.), Dr. Jen Brull (Plainville, Kan.), Dr. Nilesh V. Patel (Audubon, Pa), Pawhuska Indian Health Center of the U.S. Indian Health Service (Pawhuska, Okla.), Kaiser Permanente (Northern California), River Falls Medical Clinic (River Falls, Wis.), ThedaCare, (Appleton, Wis.) and Veterans Health Administration (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs).

Together, these nine champions represented small and large, urban and rural, as well as private and federal health practices and systems that achieved hypertension control rates ranging from 73 percent to more than 90 percent.