An Evaluation of the Utilization of Telehealth for Patients with Hypertension- A Quality Improvement Project
Background and purpose: Hypertension is the contributing cause of death for nearly half a million people living in the United States each year. Although this condition increases an individual’s risk of stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure, only one out of four people who have been diagnosed with hypertension have their blood pressure under control. The purpose of this project is to determine if patient engagement via a patient portal can be used effectively for improving blood pressure readings in patients with hypertension. Objective: This quality improvement project aims to enhance patient engagement, improve communication between patient and provider, and reduce blood pressure < 140/90 for those patients with hypertension. Methods: A quasi-experimental design study was performed at a community health clinic in the Northeast area of Tarrant County. Forty-three patients agreed to participate. Blood pressures were compared before and after application use. The Patient Activation Measure survey was selected to assess patient engagement. Findings: Paired t-test revealed an improvement of blood pressure readings after portal implementation, and the Pearson coefficient confirmed that patients who consistently accessed the system had better outcomes in their readings. Conclusion: Increased demands are being placed on healthcare providers. Alternative methods to provide care should be considered. Patient portals are an effective form of utilizing technology to manage hypertension.