MinuteClinic has partnered with the American Heart Association to improve the identification, treatment and management of high blood pressure.

MinuteClinic, American Heart Association, high blood pressure, hyptertension, CVS Caremark, retail health clinic, Paulette Thabault, Suzanne Oparil

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MinuteClinic, American Heart Association target high BP

July 31st, 2012

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – MinuteClinic has partnered with the American Heart Association to improve the identification, treatment and management of high blood pressure.

The CVS Caremark retail health clinic subsidiary said Tuesday that under the collaboration, MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants will be trained in the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guidelines on the treatment and management of hypertension. They also will refer patients identified to have high blood pressure to their primary care doctor, as well as to educational resources to help them understand how they can manage their condition.

Starting in August, MinuteClinic patienst with elevated blood pressure will get a wallet-sized card with a record of their blood pressure reading for that date and will be advised to return to MinuteClinic or their doctor for a second reading within two weeks. The follow-up visit is designed to confirm whether the patient's blood pressure continues to be elevated and if a visit to a primary care provider is needed. It also provides the opportunity for education about high blood pressure and lifestyle modifications that help maintain a healthy blood pressure, MinuteClinic noted.

"Knowing whether you have hypertension and how to properly manage this health condition is the first step in reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke," Paulette Thabault, chief nurse practitioner officer for MinuteClinic, said in a statement. "This evidenced-based program brings another dimension to our commitment to providing high-quality preventive care for our patients."

MinuteClinic and the American Heart Association are accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as nursing accredited providers of educational programs.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), one in three American adults has high blood pressure which, if not regulated, can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure and kidney failure.

"We are delighted to develop a high blood pressure continuing education course targeted specifically for nurse practitioners and physician assistants," stated Suzanne Oparil, program chair/physician expert for the AHA Education Program on Hypertension. "High blood pressure is a significant concern for a large portion of the adult population and much of it goes untreated. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants play a major role in managing hypertension in professional office settings, community settings and in convenient sites of care such as retail clinics. More and more health care is moving out into the community, and this training will provide updated treatment guidelines, support the diverse educational needs of patients and assist with ongoing monitoring, which is critical for good blood pressure management."