DQF was featured in Rand Health in June 2017, and researchers found that the group overcame challenges by committing to three action-oriented steps to improve hypertension in the region:
1. Implementing simplified guideline algorithms for treating patients with hypertension,
2. Promoting the use of the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association atherosclerotic CVD risk estimator, and
3. Using an evidence-based medication protocol for prescribing a bundle of medications to prevent heart attacks for at-risk populations.
In 2014, the group’s shared data represented approximately 26% of patients with hypertension and 53% of people with diabetes in San Diego, according to the Rand Health study. By 2015, the group could report on outcomes according to age, gender, payers and ZIP code.
“Collecting quality measures at the level of patients' ZIP codes will enable the DFQ Group to explore geographic trends, identify ‘hot spots’ of poor health outcomes, and incorporate salient community characteristics, such as poverty rates and the distribution of historically underserved racial and ethnic groups,” the authors of the Rand Health study said.
Bailey says that because of the population health strategies agreed upon across healthcare organizations, in 2016 DQF was able to reach its regional target of 80% blood pressure control in patients with diabetes across participating organizations.
“This was a goal for the past several years, and we were excited to see the improvements across the board that got us there,” Bailey says.
In the next few months, Bailey says that the data group will continue to create partnerships with healthcare organizations in the region, and will finalize a series of recommendations to other organizations on how to tackle hypertension and prediabetes using real-world examples.