Not just alphabet soup: 4 ABCS to improve your patients’ heart health

By Dona Cutsogeorge, staff author and communications coordinator at the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at Group Health Research Institute With the end of February comes the close of American Heart Month. But the need to provide better heart health care in U.S. primary care practices remains urgent. High blood pressure is a major cardiovascular disease risk factor and leading cause of death in this country. Approximately 67 million people have high blood pressure, with only half of those having their condition well-controlled. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 46,000 deaths could be avoided annually if 70 percent of patients with high blood pressure were treated according to published guidelines. Learn the 4 ABCS of heart health in a free webinar To help turn this trend around, primary care practitioners can use the ABCS measures to control high blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors among their patients: Aspirin when appropriate, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation. This April, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is sponsoring a free webinar that will summarize the scientific evidence behind each of the ABCS metrics and direct participants to decision-making tools and steps. Led by Lyle J. Fagnan, MD, the webinar will include a question and answer session via chat at the end of the presentation, as well as an opportunity to learn how to access a practice coach trained to support your practice. Mark your calendar for April 27 The “Clinical guidelines for ABCS measures” webinar will take place April 27, 2016, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Pacific (2:30 to 3:15 p.m. Eastern). Use this link to join the webinar live on April 27. You do not need to register in advance. Dr. Fagnan is the director of the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN). He practiced rural family medicine in Bethel, Alaska and Reedsport, Oregon before joining the Department of Family Medicine faculty at Oregon Health & Sciences University. He was named as the “Family Doctor of the Year” by the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians in 2005. He is also a scientific investigator for the Healthy Hearts Northwest project.

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