Tracking blood pressure control performance and process metrics in 25 US health systems: The Pcornet blood pressure control laboratory

Rhonda M. Cooper-Dehoff, Valy Fontil, Thomas Carton, Alanna M. Chamberlain, Jonathan Todd, Emily C. O’Brien, Kathryn M. Shaw, Myra Smith, Sujung Choi, Ester K. Nilles, Daniel Ford, Kristen M. Tecson, Princess E. Dennar, Faraz Ahmad, Shenghui Wu, James C. McClay, Kristen Azar, Rajbir Singh, Madelaine Faulkner Modrow, Christina M. ShayMichael Rakotz, Gregory Wozniak, Mark J. Pletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network Blood Pressure Control Laboratory Surveillance System was established to identify opportunities for blood pressure (BP) control improvement and to provide a mechanism for tracking improvement longitudinally. METHODS AND RESULTS: We conducted a serial cross-sectional study with queries against standardized electronic health record data in the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet) common data model returned by 25 participating US health systems. Queries produced BP control metrics for adults with well-documented hypertension and a recent encounter at the health system for a series of 1-year measurement periods for each quarter of available data from January 2017 to March 2020. Aggregate weighted results are presented overall and by race and ethnicity. The most recent measurement period includes data from 1 737 995 patients, and 11 956 509 patient-years were included in the trend analysis. Overall, 15% were Black, 52% women, and 28% had diabetes. BP control (<140/90 mm Hg) was observed in 62% (range, 44%-74%) but varied by race and ethnicity, with the lowest BP control among Black patients at 57% (odds ratio, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.66-0.94). A new class of antihypertensive medication (medication intensification) was prescribed in just 12% (range, 0.6%-25%) of patient visits where BP was uncontrolled. However, when medication intensification occurred, there was a large decrease in systolic BP (≈15 mm Hg; range, 5-18 mm Hg). CONCLUSIONS: Major opportunities exist for improving BP control and reducing disparities, especially through consistent medication intensification when BP is uncontrolled. These data demonstrate substantial room for improvement and opportunities to close health equity gaps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere022224
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 2 2021


  • Health equity
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Quality and outcomes
  • Race and ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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