NYC Health + Hospitals on Sept 28, 2023, announced all 11 of its hospitals and eight of its NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health sites were recognized by the American Heart Association and the American Medical Association for their work in managing hypertension, or high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart attack and stroke. 17 of its sites received Gold+ status, the highest recognition. Controlled blood pressure for patients with hypertension is defined as a systolic blood pressure (top number) below 140 and a diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) below 90. NYC Health + Hospitals used a number of strategies to help its patients control their blood pressure, including distributing more than 10,000 home blood pressure monitors. In 2022, 75.1% of NYC Health + Hospitals patients with hypertension were controlled, a nearly 5% improvement from 2021.
“This recognition from the AHA and AMA shows the incredible progress our staff have made in the last year to support our patients with hypertension,” said Nichola Davis, MD, MS, Vice President and Chief Population Health Officer at NYC Health + Hospitals. “Controlling high blood pressure is critical to reducing risk of heart attacks, strokes, and early death. Our staff work to make sure that every patient with high blood pressure knows how to manage their condition, with both medications and lifestyle changes. I am extremely proud that as a health system, we recognize the importance of diagnosing and treating high blood pressure and are able to provide patients with the tools they need to achieve and sustain blood pressure control.”
“NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health is dedicated to significantly lowering the annual occurrence of heart attacks and strokes among our fellow New Yorkers.,” said Michelle Lewis, NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health’s Chief Executive Officer. “I am very proud Gotham Health consistently provides high quality, accessible, and affordable health care to our diverse community every day. This combination empowers our patients to effectively manage their health, reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and stress triggers.”
The hospitals won the following Target: BP awards from the American Heart Association and the American Medical Association this year:
Target BP Gold+
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan
- NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens
- NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Belvis
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Cumberland
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, East New York
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Gouverneur
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Morrisania
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, North Brooklyn
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Sydenham
Target BP Gold
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Vanderbilt
Target BP Silver
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem
NYC Health + Hospitals pursued several activities to help patients manage their blood pressure over the past year:
- Distributed over 10,000 home blood pressure monitors to patients with uncontrolled hypertension who were not able to obtain one through insurance. Many of the home blood pressure monitors that are on the market are inaccurate; the American Medical Association has a list of home blood pressure monitors that provide accurate readings available here.
- Updated system-wide hypertension management recommendations and control metrics to include blood pressures measured at home, not just those in the clinic.
- Enhanced the Treat to Target nurse-led chronic disease management program with new tools to standardize workflows and reporting of key program measures and outcomes. This led to record high referrals into the program.
- Placed pharmacists in primary care sites to work with patients whose high blood pressure is more difficult to control and who have multiple conditions that require medication.
- Identified and contacted patients with uncontrolled hypertension and no follow-up primary care appointment to schedule appointments for follow-up readings, evaluation, and counseling.
- Partnered with the American Heart Association through their “Lower the Pressure” initiative to provide direct quality improvement support to sites to implement best practices around accurate blood pressure measurement and clinical workflow.
- Supported front-line staff with data and best practices on a multitude of performance improvement projects focused on hypertension control.
The American Heart Association and American Medical Association confer Target BP Gold+ status to practices that meet the Gold status criteria and complete 4 of 6 evidence-based BP activities; Gold status to practices that have 70 percent or more of their adult patient population with high blood pressure controlled; Silver status to practices that submit data and complete 4 of 6 evidence-based BP activities; and Participant status to practices that submit data for the first-time and commit to reducing the number of adult patients with uncontrolled blood pressure.
More than one in four New Yorkers have high blood pressure, and there are usually no symptoms. High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for heart attack, stroke, and early death. Every New Yorker should get their blood pressure accurately measured on a regular basis because with timely diagnosis, evidence-based treatment and education, this condition can be managed effectively.