Design of a pragmatic cluster-randomized trial comparing telehealth care and best practice clinic-based care for uncontrolled high blood pressure
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BACKGROUND: Uncontrolled hypertension is the largest single contributor to all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in the U.S. POPULATION: Nurse- and pharmacist-led team-based care and telehealth care interventions have been shown to result in large and lasting improvements in blood pressure (BP); however, it is unclear how successfully these can be implemented at scale in real-world settings. It is also uncertain how telehealth interventions impact patient experience compared to traditional clinic-based care. AIMS/OBJECTIVES: To compare the effects of two evidence-based blood pressure care strategies in the primary care setting: (1) best-practice clinic-based care and (2) telehealth care with home BP telemonitoring and management by a clinical pharmacist. To evaluate implementation using mixed-methods supported by the RE-AIM framework and Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. METHODS: The design is a cluster-randomized comparative effectiveness pragmatic trial in 21 primary care clinics (9 clinic-based care, 12 telehealth care). Adult patients (age 18-85) with hypertension are enrolled via automated electronic health record (EHR) tools during primary care encounters if BP is elevated to >/=150/95 mmHg at two consecutive visits. The primary outcome is change in systolic BP over 12 months as extracted from the EHR. Secondary outcomes are change in key patient-reported outcomes over 6 months as measured by surveys. Qualitative data are collected at various time points to investigate implementation barriers and help explain intervention effects. CONCLUSION: This pragmatic trial aims to inform health systems about the benefits, strengths, and limitations of implementing home BP telemonitoring with pharmacist management for uncontrolled hypertension in real-world primary care settings.
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