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HHS seeks new IT solutions for hypertension

July 9, 2014
by Richard R. Rogoski
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In an effort to reduce hypertension and the heart attacks and strokes it causes, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has offered a challenge to healthcare providers and caregivers. HHS is asking them to submit the best IT solutions they use to improve patient care so that a new set of clinical decision support tools aimed at hypertension can be developed.

The EHR Innovations for Improving Hypertension Challenge is meant to encourage the use of health IT solutions, such as electronic health records, to combat hypertension, HHS explained in a press release. The initiative is being launched by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) as part of the "Million Hearts"—a national initiative co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

"We are excited that with this challenge we will be able to share the best practices that many physicians and their teams are using to help patients improve their blood pressure and reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke," said Janet Wright, MD, executive director of Million Hearts. "Our goal of preventing a million heart attacks and strokes in five years can happen by helping at least 10 million more hypertensive patients achieve safe and swift control. The new challenge is designed to help patients and their care teams use health IT tools to protect and improve their cardiovascular health."

The deadline for submissions is Oct. 6, and the winners will be announced on Oct. 28.