Dr. Melissa Schori, Medical Director at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, is looking forward to reaping the benefits of HHC’s new Cardiovascular Risk Registry to help patients better manage blood pressure and cholesterol and achieve healthy hearts.
“This registry will make a difference in the quality of life of patients. Their primary care physicians will have greater knowledge to manage their conditions and be able to counsel them to use self management tools,” says Schori. “This technology will allow us to leverage the electronic medical records to better manage the health outcomes of a targeted group of patients and ultimately help to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular disease.”
HHC physicians began using the electronic disease-tracking program in May to follow patients’ hypertension and hypercholesterolemia -- high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol -- which are the leading causes of heart disease, stroke, and other vascular conditions. This registry is the latest example of HHC’s strategy of using powerful database software to identify and clinically profile at-risk patients in the vast haystack of data stored in its advanced electronic medical records system.
“As we have done these past two years with diabetes, HHC is using advanced clinical information technology to drive more effective management of two other prevalent chronic diseases that severely impact the long term health status of whole communities, and long term healthcare costs for our society at large,” said HHC President Alan Aviles.
Already there are 42,309 HHC patients in the cardiovascular risk registry. Patients enrolled in the registry must be older than 18, younger than 75 and seen as patients at an HHC primary care facility within the last 12 months. And they must have a diagnosis of hypertension and/or hypercholesterolemia. By mining HHC’s electronic patient records data, the risk registry has already been able to identify more than 26,000 patients with hypercholesterolemia and more than 42,000 with hypertension.
Hypertension is a chronic disease in which the blood pressure remains above the normal value of 120/80. It can harm the arteries and increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and blindness. Hypertension affects 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. -- about 30% of whom are undiagnosed. High cholesterol is a condition that contributes to arteriosclerosis, heart attack and stroke. In New York City, heart disease is the #1 cause of death regardless of race or ethnicity and for both men and women.
HHC pioneered the use of this technique with its electronic registry for 50,000 patients with diabetes and has seen a significant increase in the number of diabetic patients who have achieved healthy levels of blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol -- the three leading indicators for the disease.
The Corporation expects to be able to study and measure the impact of the Cardiovascular Risk Registry in the next nine to 12 months.