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STATEMENT OF NEED: Hypertension (HTN) remains a major contributor to disease burden around the world and a major cause of premature death. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans suffer from hypertension, making it the nation’s #1 most common medical condition [1]. At specific risk are women, persons aged 60 or older, non-Hispanic blacks, the poor, and diabetics [2]. The progression from hypertension to heart failure in the chain of cardiovascular events, however, need not be inevitable and can be prevented with proper treatment. Since only approximately 58% of patients diagnosed with hypertension are receiving adequate treatment [1], primary care physicians are well positioned to improve diagnosis and treatment strategies and potentially improve patient outcomes. However, a 2009 needs assessment of primary care physicians conducted by PennCME/BestPractice revealed the following gaps in disease management:

  • Gaps in diagnosis exist, which are partially attributed to a lack of awareness of hypertension among patients [3].
  • Barriers to control of hypertension are a function of several factors, including patient management time constraints, physician practice patterns, patient/physician communication challenges, adverse drug effects, and the complexity of prescribing or monitoring drug regimens [4, 5, 6].
  • Physicians need to improve their adherence to treatment guidelines, and more aggressively manage their patients’ disease [7, 8, 9, 10].

TARGET AUDIENCE: Physicians in primary care practice, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other health care providers and clinical practice teams.

EDUCATIONAL GOALS & OBJECTIVES: After participating in this educational initiative, learners are generally expected to:

  • Improve the performance of primary care providers in screening patients for hypertension and pre-hypertension.
  • Improve competence and performance of primary care providers in diagnosing hypertension and pre-hypertension.
  • Improve knowledge, competence, and performance of primary care providers in treatment of hypertension and patient management according to guidelines.
  • Educate and motivate primary care providers to engage their patients in self management of their disease by providing tools and resources for best practices in smoking cessation and other lifestyle changes.

Media Use: This educational initiative was developed as a web-based multimedia self-study educational and resource curriculum using the following formats:

  • Interactive minicase studies
  • Simulations
  • Targeted search at the point of care using the iSEEK search engine
  • Internet-based enduring materials
  • Evidence-based resources
  • References to physician staff and patient education links



Hypertension Resources from Penn CME/BestPractice

Staff Reference Center
Extended Resources
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