A Community-based Program for Cardiovascular Health Awareness
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OBJECTIVE: The objective of the Cardiovascular Health Awareness Program (CHAP) is to improve the processes of care related to the cardiovascular health of older adults. PARTICIPANTS: Two Ontario communities including family physicians (FP), pharmacists, public health units and nurses, volunteer peer health educators, older adult patients and community organizations. SETTING: Community pharmacies and family physician offices. INTERVENTION: CHAP is designed to close a process of care loop around cardiovascular health awareness that originates from, and returns to, the FP. Older patients are invited by their FP to attend pharmacy CHAP sessions. At these sessions, trained volunteer peer health educators (PHEs) assist patients both in recording their blood pressure using a calibrated automated device and in completing a cardiovascular risk profile. This information is relayed to their respective FP via an automated computerized database. Pharmacists and patients receive copies of the results. Based on these cumulative risk profiles, patients are advised to follow-up with their FP. OUTCOMES: Of the FPs and pharmacists asked, 47% and 79%, respectively, agreed to participate in the project. 39% of older adult patients invited by their FPs attended the CHAP community pharmacy sessions. Of these, 100% agreed to having their risk profile, including their blood pressure readings, forwarded to their FP. Positive feedback about CHAP was expressed by the volunteer PHEs, the FPs and the pharmacists. CONCLUSION: The community-based pharmacy CHAP sessions are a feasible way of improving patient, physician, and pharmacist access to reliable blood pressure measurements and to cardiovascular health information. A randomized trial is in progress that will assess the impact of CHAP on monitoring of blood pressure.
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