RPM Programs in Primary Care Settings Can Help Improve Blood Pressure Control

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A pilot study presented at ACC.22 demonstrates the impact of implementation of an RPM program to improve blood pressure control in patients with hypertension at primary care clinics.

Data from a pilot study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 71st Annual Scientific Sessions detail the potential impact of an optimized remote patient monitoring program on blood pressure control among a cohort of hypertensive patients.

Led by Stephen Persell, MD, director of the Institute for Public Health and Medicine - Center for Primary Care and Innovation and professor of medicine at Northwestern Medicine, results of the study provide insight into the effects of a remote patient monitoring program focused on monitoring blood pressure in primary care settings.

A pragmatic observational study conducted among primary care clinics within the Northwestern Medicine system, the study was designed by Persell and team of colleagues to assess the effects of implementing the Omron VitalSight RPM program into the electronic health record (EHR) to directly transmit blood pressure and pulse data to the EHR without manual entry. As part of the study, a pair of clinics were oriented using meetings and written material and the decision to order RPM up to providers. Another pair of clinics was outfitted with nurse care coordinators who, with provider approval, offered RPM to patients with uncontrolled office BP and assisted with initiation.

For the purpose of analysis, investigators compared data from these groups with data from hypertensive patients in non-participating clinics. Of note, investigators pointed out all patients included in the study had Medicare or Medicare Advantage insurance, were 65-85 years old, and had at least 1 office visit in past year. Outcomes of interest for the study included blood pressure control at 6 months and systolic blood pressure at final visit.

Results of the Northwestern-led study demonstrated RPM uptake was greater with nurse care coordinators than without, with RPM ordered for 1.4% of all potential hypertensive patients in the group with nurse care coordinators and 6.4% in the group with nurse care coordinators. Among RPM-enrolled patients, patients in the care coordinator group had a greater mean blood pressure than those in the group without care coordinators. Additionally, results indicated blood pressure control was achieved among 28.8% among those without care coordinators, 33.6% among those with care coordinators, and 27.0% among those in control clinics when assessing patients with poor blood pressure control at baseline.

With an interest in learning more about use of RPM programs for monitoring and improving management of hypertension, Practical Cardiology reached out to Persell and that conversation is the subject of the following ACC.22 House Call.