Innovations

These innovations and progress notes highlight successes and best practices in heart disease and stroke by Million Hearts® and partner organizations. They have been selected due to their effectiveness, how easily they can be replicated, and their inclusion of lessons learned.

Health care worker taking a woman's blood pressure.

Million Hearts® Epi-Exchange

Although medication is an effective treatment option to control high blood pressure, medication adherence—a person’s ability to continue using their medications as prescribed by their doctor—is a challenge. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have teamed up to discuss how to improve blood pressure medication adherence.

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Innovation Events

Two smiling women.

Million Hearts®: Scaling and Spreading Innovation—Strategies to Improve Cardiovascular Health

The Million Hearts® Scaling and Spreading Innovation event was a collaboration among the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the American Heart Association. The event was designed to inspire creative thinking about successful community interventions for better cardiovascular health.

Heart 360

This pharmacist-led, home blood pressure monitoring program asked participants to upload their home blood pressure measurements 3–4 times a week to the American Heart Association’s Heart360 website.

Disease Management to Promote Blood Pressure Control Among African Americans

A team at Aetna set out to determine whether telephonic nurse disease management was more effective than a home monitoring program for African American patients.

Medication Therapy Management

The American Pharmacists Association Foundation’s Asheville Project created a community-based medication therapy management program in North Carolina for patients with hypertension and high cholesterol.

Language Concordant Health Coaches

Coaches in San Francisco worked with residents to improve self-management skills and quality of care for patients who had limited English proficiency and health literacy.

A hospital emergency room entrance.

Public Health Grand Rounds

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hosts Public Health Grand Rounds each month via webcast to foster discussion on major public health issues. Each session focuses on key challenges related to a specific health topic and explores cutting-edge scientific evidence and potential impact of different interventions. The sessions also highlight how CDC and its partners are already addressing these challenges and discuss the recommendations for future research and practice.

Mind Your Risks and Act FAST to Prevent and Treat Strokes

On May 17, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hosted a Public Health Grand Rounds on the importance of identifying and reducing stroke risks and improving the quality of stroke care and treatment.

Hypertension: Detect, Connect, Control

On May 21, 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hosted a Public Health Grand Rounds session about the importance of high blood pressure control.

Preventing A Million Heart Attacks and Strokes: A Turning Point for Impact

On September 8, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hosted a Public Health Grand Rounds session to feature some of the Million Hearts® progress that has been made.

A heart.

Webinars

These online events hosted or supported by Million Hearts® and its partners help practitioners and professionals stay up-to-date on the latest innovations in the field, from hypertension control using standardized treatment protocols to reducing sodium and addressing health disparities in heart disease and stroke.

Hypertension Control Protocol Learning Collaborative

In this October 2015 webinar, learn more about the Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Protocol Learning Collaborative and “Technology Integration Strategies to Incorporate Hypertension Protocols into Electronic Health Records.”

In this April 2015 webinar, learn more about the Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Protocol Learning Collaborative and “Using a Systems-Based Approach to Hypertension Control: How Protocols Can Help You Achieve Better Outcomes.”

Reducing Sodium in Home Delivered and Congregate Meals

On May 2, 2014, the National Resource Center for Nutrition & Aging hosted this webinar about the importance of sodium reduction in meals served to older adults.

Nurse Practitioners and Million Hearts®

On September 11, 2013, Million Hearts® hosted this webinar to show how nurse practitioners are achieving excellence in detecting and controlling hypertension using proven strategies and engaging in patient and family-centered care.

Maryland Works with Partners to Support Million Hearts®

On June 19, 2013, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials hosted a webinar to highlight how Maryland is working to support Million Hearts®.

State of Men’s Heart Health

On June 3, 2013, in celebration of Men’s Health Month, Million Hearts® and the Men’s Health Network hosted the State of Men’s Heart Health webinar to discuss effective tools and strategies for involving men in improving their own heart health.

Promising Practices: Blood Pressure Control in Clinical Settings

On December 4, 2012, Million Hearts® sponsored an event to highlight promising practices for blood pressure control in clinical settings.

Promising Practices: Minority Health

On September 13, 2012, Million Hearts® sponsored an event to discuss the importance of cardiovascular health and community approaches to addressing health disparities.

Administration on Aging and the Affordable Care Act

On February 28, 2012, the Administration on Aging hosted a webinar focused on Million Hearts® and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (also known as the Affordable Care Act) and its impact on the aging network.

Progress Notes

A pharmacist on the phone.

Blood Pressure Control and Cholesterol Management

The Asheville Project—Medication Therapy Management

Asheville, North Carolina, implemented a community-based medication therapy management program for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides to benefit 12,000 employees of the city and a local hospital system.

 Innovation
Employer support for regular blood pressure and cholesterol consultations with a pharmacist as well as drug copayment reductions and waivers.

Improvement
Employees experienced fewer cardiovascular-related events, had lower medical expenses, and achieved blood pressure and cholesterol goals.

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Nurse taking a patient's blood pressure.

Blood Pressure Control

HealthPartners Minnesota

HealthPartners established measurable goals for reducing heart attacks and controlling risk factors for members, and it created a registry of at-risk patients for diabetes or heart disease.

Innovation
Education, counseling, and periodic consultation with nurses as a way to target high blood pressure and cholesterol control.

Improvement
Participants receiving optimal care increased by half, fewer participants went to the hospital, and the program saved money.

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Man breaking a cigarette in half.

Smoking Cessation

New York Hotel Trades Council and Hotel Association of NYC Inc., Employee Benefits Funds

In October 2011, the Funds’ health centers became a part of Health eQuits, a smoking cessation intervention program launched by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Innovation
A multidisciplinary approach to increase smoking cessation intervention rates among documented smokers.

Improvement
Smoking cessation rates for those who visited the Funds health centers more than tripled.

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Physician speaking to a patient about his medication.

Blood Pressure Control

Georgia Stroke and Heart Attack Prevention Program

SHAPP, a program for low-income or uninsured Georgia residents, offered enrolled clients a selection of hypertension medications and services at low or no cost.

Innovation
Low-cost medication, tracking appointments and progress, and providing long-term disease management.

Improvement
The percentage of residents with blood pressure under control increased, and the program was less costly than either no preventive care or usual care.

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An elderly couple eating together.

Sodium Reduction

Schenectady County, NY

The Glendale Nursing Home in Schenectady evaluated each meal provided to their residents to determine a baseline nutritional analysis. They then implemented strategies to reduce sodium.

Innovation
Reduced sodium across the entire menu, including 105 separate meals.

Improvement
Average sodium per meal decreased from 1,270 milligrams to 1,146 milligrams.

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Man taking his blood pressure reading at home.

Blood Pressure Control and Cholesterol Management

Kaiser Permanente Colorado

The Kaiser Permanente Colorado High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Management Program established patient registries and outreach lists to manage the care of all patients with high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Innovation
Patient registries, education and at-home monitoring, and incentives for successful high blood pressure and cholesterol management.

Improvement
The program prevented an estimated 135 deaths and 260 costly emergency interventions each year.

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A physician talking to a female patient about her file.

Blood Pressure Control

MyGroupHealth—A Patient Portal in Seattle

The cooperative launched an interactive portal with three key elements: education and training, home monitoring of blood pressure, and consultation with pharmacists to review blood pressure readings and adjust therapy as needed.

Innovation
Portal for patients taking medication for high blood pressure, plus home-based monitoring and access to professional guidance.

Improvement
More than half of patients who received the greatest support achieved blood pressure control.

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Person writing on a tablet.

Health Information Technology

Veterans Health Administration

In less than 3 years—between 1996 and 1999—the Veterans Health Administration completed the largest ever deployment of electronic health records, including designation of a primary care provider for all patients.

Innovation
Overhauled health care system, incorporating electronic health records and placing a priority on primary care.

Improvement
The changes dramatically improved the volume and quality of care, with lower hospital admissions.

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Page last reviewed: October 21, 2019