Blood pressure used to be a male problem. Not now! Women over 60 are worse. Try this." />
Healthy Living

Easy Newer Method to Lower Blood Pressure

A very new approach was developed at Kaiser Permanente, the big California health care organization. Now 80% of patients using it have their blood pressure under control. (120/80 is normal. High is 140/90 or higher).Can you adapt these new ideas in your program of care? Here’s what Kaiser Permanente did to be successful.1. Started patients on two blood-pressure drugs from the start. (They changed the doctor’s guidelines which had patients started on a single drug before graduating to two)

2. Created a registry of all patients with high blood pressure. Then they telephoned those with no recent checkup asking them to take a blood pressure test.

3. Identified those patients who would benefit from a more effective treatment and told the doctors the information.

4. Sometimes prescribed a pill combining the two drugs instead of two separate pills. Patients appreciated the ease and lower co-pay. They were more likely to take the pill consistently.

5. Performed blood pressure checkups by a medical assistant instead of a doctor. Patients had more flexibility and availability in scheduling. They were more likely to get tests consistently.

6. Encouraged more exercise such as walking three miles, three times a week and a weekly strength-training class.

Does your doctor work with you on these points? Bring them up and discuss what can be done to improve your health based on these steps.

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