In a review of 77 studies, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services found improved BP control among patients who received team-based care — with a primary care provider supported by a pharmacist, nurse, dietitian, social worker or community health worker — compared with care from a single physician.
Analysis showed team based care increased the proportion of patients with controlled BP; decreased both systolic and diastolic BP; and improved outcomes in patients who had diabetes and elevated lipid levels. The greatest improvement in BP was seen when the team members could change medications independently or with the approval of the primary care provider. However, when team members could only oversee taking of medication, improvements in BP were not as great, according to information from a CDC press release.
The complete findings of the review will be published in May 2013.
Within the team-based care model, team members provided support and shared responsibilities with the primary care provider for hypertension care, including medication management, patient follow-up, routine BP monitoring, reducing sodium in the diet and increasing physical activity.
“Adoption of this model throughout the United States would improve BP control for the 68 million adult Americans who have high BP and [could] reduce their risk of MI, stroke and other health problems,” Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, director of the CDC, said in a press release. “This analysis shows that when primary care physicians and other health care professionals with different expertise and approaches work together to support their patients, they can find the right formula for getting BP under control.”
In a statement released by the American Heart Association, CEO Nancy Brown said: “In the fight against heart disease and stroke, controlling BP is critical … A team-based approach to hypertension can help ensure that patients with this condition get the best quality care. Team-based models can also help address the efficiency, access and cost issues facing our nation’s health care system by using each health care professional to the fullest extent of their training and skill.”
Disclosure: Dr. Frieden and Ms. Brown report no relevant financial disclosures.