Making a connection between diagnoses is a simple concept. Yet many patients fail to understand how one relates to another. Take diabetes and hypertension (HTN) for example.
Patients with diabetes are twice as likely to have high blood pressure and for many, this is uncontrolled. Uncontrolled blood pressure can increase the risk for a heart attack, stroke, eye problems and eventually kidney failure that will result in the need for dialysis or a transplant.
Patients often see diabetes and hypertension as separate, unrelated diagnoses. Medical professionals know differently. There is a connection.
This lack of connection is why clinicians are urged to help patients understand these connections and make hypertension control a priority to make a real difference.
The Million Hearts Campaign offers a toolkit (The Million Hearts Control Change Package) that provides process improvement options that outpatient clinical settings can implement for optimal HTN control. The package includes change concepts and ideas and evidence- or practice-based tools and resources.
Practices that use the package see results. Two Indiana primary care practices participating in the Wabash Valley Care Coalition were recognized by the Million Hearts Campaign as being Hypertension Control Champions.
Valley Professional Community Health Center in Rockville and Bloomingdale have used the package and demonstrated success in improving hypertension control among patients since 2012. The practices took the Hypertension Control Challenge to achieve HTN control rates of at least 80 percent. They are among 15 national winners for 2020.
The Million Hearts toolkit addresses hypertension control for all patients with an emphasis on those patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease. To supplement the toolkit, here are a few additional resources and ideas recommended for both patient and staff education:
Living with Type 2 Diabetes Program
This program provides information and support to help people with Type 2 diabetes learn more about their disease, how to improve their overall health, and how to reduce their risk of complications. It includes six digital booklets, monthly e-newsletters, one year of the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) award-winning Diabetes Forecast® magazine, and access to an online community and local events to support people with diabetes on their journeys.
Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES)
DSMES can also make a huge difference in controlling diabetes and hypertension. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when healthy routines and decisions may be hindered by safety requirements. Patients needing assistance, can be referred to any of the DSMES resources are available in Indiana.
Hypertension and diabetes are two focus areas Qsource can assist Indiana communities and providers in making improvements. Qsource has spent more than two decades working with patients, caregivers and the medical community to address chronic conditions. Through collaborative efforts on local and statewide levels, change is being made.
To get involved, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.