Contact: Lauren Brendel, M.S.
Bozeman Health has implemented a Registered Nurse (RN)/Pharmacist-Led Hypertension Clinic to help patients achieve blood pressure goals through education, lifestyle interventions, and medication adjustments. Hypertension, otherwise known as high blood pressure, is a very treatable disease and when managed effectively it can help prevent heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and dementia.
The first of its kind in Montana, the hypertension clinic partners nurses and pharmacists in a multidisciplinary team to treat patients with high blood pressure to ensure outstanding patient outcomes and patient-centered care. In the fall of 2018, that multidisciplinary team was developed to work on additional training and education for the nursing team, which included motivational interviewing and advanced medication management. Then, in December 2018, self-identified Bozeman Health employees offered their assistance in the initial practice trial for the program. The pilot began in January 2019 and within three months, the data was so impressive that more patients and provider champions were added. To date, there have been more 150 patients enrolled in the program with more added daily.
Patients in the hypertension clinic work with nurses on appropriate lifestyle modifications and together, they identify attainable targets for the patient to work on, such as walking 10 minutes a day or cutting out a nighttime ice cream snack. As a result of lifestyle changes, some patients have been able to cut back on the amount of blood pressure medication they take. Bozeman Health primary care clinics have more than 8,000 patients diagnosed with high blood pressure and prior to their involvement in the hypertension clinic, only 45% of patients were at their individual goals of having a healthy blood pressure range. Today, approximately 64% of patients are at their individual goals. Of the patients seen in the hypertension clinic, more than 90% reach their goal in nine weeks or less.
Within the first months of the pilot, working in partnership with Bozeman Health Foundation, the hypertension clinic received an initial grant from DPHHS to help fund the program. Based on the successes realized in the pilot, the project received additional grant monies from DPHHS and in October 2019, a third $50,000 grant was received from PacificSource. Through Pacific Source’s community health excellence program, funding is made available for a variety of care delivery innovations including chronic disease management. Applications are independently evaluated and awards go to organizations that prioritize advancing issues that impact community health.
“We’re extremely grateful to Pacific Source and its leadership for providing Bozeman Health with this vital funding and for investing in our commitment to innovation in patient care,” said Jason Smith, Bozeman Health chief advancement officer. “Their generosity will help us expand a program that demonstrated amazing early success in saving lives and improving community health and quality of life.”
To learn more about our Hypertension Clinic, click here and as always, speak with your primary care provider about any concerns you might have about your blood pressure.