Blog | Thursday, May 17, 2012

QD: News Every Day--CDC says team approach better controls blood pressure

Physician-led teams provide more effective care for controlling blood pressure, reports the CDC's Community Preventive Services Task Force.

About one in three adults in the United States has hypertension, and less than half have it under control.

If all hypertensive patients could reach the goals specified in current clinical guidelines, it might save 46,000 deaths each year, as well as medical costs of $131 billion and lost productivity costs of $25 billion.

The Task Force recommends team-based care based on evidence from 77 studies of nurses and pharmacists working in collaboration with primary care providers.

Each team consisted of the patient and a primary care provider, with most adding a pharmacist, nurse or both. The estimates for improved systolic and diastolic blood pressure were similar in the studies that added a nurse or a pharmacist. The estimated proportion of patients with controlled blood pressure was much higher when a pharmacist was added.

In four of the 28 studies, team-based care was implemented without a nurse or a pharmacist, but with added professionals such as community health workers and dietitians. Blood pressure improvements in these studies were small, however.