Abstract P312: San Diego County Medical Leaders Collaborate to Achieve Leading-Edge Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Goals
The Right Care Initiative (RCI) is a California-wide, public-private coalition formed in 2007 to improve healthcare quality and outcomes. One RCI focus is cardiovascular disease (CVD) due to its high prevalence and evidence of specific healthcare improvement strategies. San Diego County, with its small set of large medical groups, was selected as a pilot project site. RCI leaders in San Diego hypothesized that outcome-focused meetings promoting the sharing of CVD prevention efforts among medical group leaders could lead to community-wide collaboration behind measurable action steps to achieve target goals. The high impact potential of the project attracted participation from the majority of San Diego medical groups. Two promising strategies were identified: (1) the delivery of bundled medication therapy consisting of aspirin, an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, and a lipid-lowering medication for all CVD patients and patients > age 55 with diabetes, and (2) the use of pharmacists on care teams to assist with medication management. In addition, collaboration with the American Heart Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency and private citizens leverages existing heart-healthy lifestyle and screening programs. The participants also developed and plan to launch a local media outreach campaign to activate heart-healthy behavior adoption among San Diegans. To build team unity in the pilot project, San Diego medical group and community health leaders conducted monthly “University of Best Practices” conferences. At these non-competitive medical and academic meetings, presenters shared the successful quality improvement strategies of “high-performing” groups and participants experienced the benefits of working together. After several meetings, participants set a goal of reducing heart attacks and strokes in San Diego County by 50% within five years. Their “stretch goal” is to make the San Diego region the first “heart attack and stroke free zone.” The next step will be to track progress by routinely sharing group-specific data and action plans.
Conclusions: Medical groups who normally compete in the clinical care arena found they could collaborate toward a common goal, as shown by agreement on action steps. The opportunity to regularly convene medical group leaders in San Diego proved critical to establishing necessary trust. This community-based approach is intended to catalyze the uptake of promising, evidence-based practices and improve care for San Diego’s high risk cardiovascular and diabetes patients. The recently announced national “Million Hearts” campaign synergizes closely with this pilot project’s focus on community-wide heart attack and stroke prevention.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.