The American Medical Association (AMA) today reported that its AMA MAP BPTM quality improvement program is successfully assisting physicians and health systems in better managing their patients' blood pressure as part of its mission to assist all individuals in managing their blood pressure (BP). Cook County Health in Illinois gave blood pressure control a high priority within its system at a time when many doctors and healthcare teams had difficulties with blood pressure monitoring and management during the COVID-19 pandemic. To expand the use of evidence-based treatment, involve patients in self-management of their blood pressure, and improve the accuracy of blood pressure measurements, a multidisciplinary team at Cook County worked with the AMA to implement these initiatives.
The AMA specifically provided coaching for quality improvement, implementation tools, and performance indicators to the Cook County Health team, which resulted in an increase in blood pressure control rates of 13 percentage points in the first cohort of patients. Cook County Health is the first health system to embed the AMA MAP BP measures successfully and achieve outcomes in its electronic health record, resulting in notable improvements in blood pressure control in 11 practice sites serving a majority of patients from historically marginalized communities.
"Even though it is widely acknowledged that uncontrolled blood pressure—the country's top risk factor for heart attack, stroke, and premature death—contributes to nearly 850,000 deaths annually, the percentage of people with controlled blood pressure has been declining for nearly a decade," the report states.
AMA President Jack Resneck, Jr., M.D., stated, "We believe these statistics reflect the fact that many patients and clinicians encounter a multitude of challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, making it challenging to adequately manage the condition. "The COVID-19 epidemic also brought to light the glaring disparities that are present in the United States, especially blood pressure management. To help patients avoid the fatal consequences of high blood pressure, we will be able to assist a lot more doctors, care teams, and healthcare organizations through the AMA MAP BP initiative, thus improving patient outcomes across the country.
An evidence-based continuous quality improvement program called AMA MAP BP aims to help doctors, care teams, and healthcare organizations improve patient blood pressure control quickly, significantly, and sustainably. The three main areas that medical professionals and care teams should concentrate on are Measuring BP precisely to gather actionable data, Acting quickly to make shared treatment decisions, and Partnering with patients to support self-management. These three areas are highlighted by MAP.
Israel Rocha, CEO of Cook County Health, stated that "we all know about the astonishing amount of high blood pressure that we have in this country and that misdiagnosed high blood pressure can have fatal effects." We frequently observe at Cook County Health that social risk factors for health have a substantial impact on our patients' capacity to.
At AMA MAP BP practice sites, CCH has observed a 13 percentage point improvement in blood pressure control since the program's inception. This is a huge accomplishment that will change the lives of our patients, especially in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. I appreciate the AMA's cooperation in advancing health equity and making sure our patients have access to cutting-edge technological solutions that can potentially save lives.
The AMA has assisted 46 healthcare institutions in 20 states with the implementation of the AMA MAP BP since 2019. Hundreds of thousands of patients with high blood pressure have been impacted by these institutions—which include multi-state health systems, accountable care organizations, federally qualified health centers, and medical practices—by adopting AMA MAP BP.
Additionally, to support healthcare institutions that provide treatment for historically marginalized and minority populations, the AMA is investigating innovative methods of disseminating the AMA MAP BP through partnerships with population health channels. These new partnerships will be revealed by the AMA in the upcoming weeks and months.
The AMA's ongoing initiatives to promote health equality and enhance health outcomes for historically disenfranchised groups include the partnership with Cook County Health. The AMA became an anchor mission partner with West Side United in October after announcing a new $3 million multi-year investment in Chicago's west side neighborhoods. This investment will total $5 million over five years (WSU).
The AMA and Cook County Health are two partners who are dedicated to addressing structural inequities, eradicating health disparities, and enhancing the economic vitality and educational opportunities in Chicago's west side communities, which have been severely damaged by years of neglect and underinvestment. To assist patients with hypertension in self-measuring, the AMA and American Heart Association donated several hundred validated BP devices to Cook County Health as part of this project.
About Cook County Health
Cook County Health (CCH), one of the biggest public health systems in the country, acts as the health care safety net for Cook County and the suburbs of Chicago.
The Cook County Health Network (CCH) is made up of two hospitals, a sizable network of more than a dozen community health centers, the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, the Cook County Department of Public Health, Correctional Health Services, which provides medical care to inmates at the Cook County Jail and the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, and CountyCare, a Medicaid managed care health plan. Each year, CCH provides treatment for almost 600,000 people through its health system and health plan. Its doctors are leaders in their disciplines who are dedicated to giving their patients individualized, cutting-edge care. By fostering community-based primary and preventive care, expanding an innovative, collaborative health plan, and improving the patient experience, CCH is now revolutionizing the delivery of healthcare in Cook County.
About the American Medical Association
Physicians have a strong ally in the American Medical Association when it comes to patient care. The AMA speaks with one voice on behalf of physicians to all significant stakeholders in the healthcare industry as the only medical group that brings together more than 190 state and specialty medical societies. The AMA makes use of its strength by removing roadblocks to patient care, leading the fight to combat public health crises and prevent chronic disease, and guiding the future of medicine to address the most difficult problems in healthcare.
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