The morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular disease presents an enormous humanistic and economic burden in the United States. In Texas, cardiovascular disease has been the leading cause of death since 1950. Risk-factor modification has been targeted in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, including lipid management, smoking cessation, improved control of blood pressure, physical activity, weight management, the use of antiplatelet agents/anticoagulants, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors in congestive heart failure, β blockers after myocardial infarction, and estrogen replacement therapy. The Heart Care Partnership (HCP) is a multifaceted interactive program designed to improve risk-factor management in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease through physician education, participation, and consensus development in addition to practice improvement processes and patient education. Development and implementation of the Texas HCP was a joint effort of the Texas Medical Association, the Texas Affiliate of the American Heart Association, and Merck and Co. This program helps hospitals improve the quality of care and outcomes for patients with heart disease. Program resources include educational workshops, quality improvement processes, and patient educational materials. HCP workshops address the treatment gap, define optimal care, and help define institution-specific plans for treating heart disease. Quality-improvement processes provide hospitals with baseline data and tools to improve and measure outcomes over time. The HCP workshops are provided as a combination of lectures, interactive discussions, and small group planning sessions designed to encourage audience participation. Upon completing the HCP program, participants are able to (1) describe the evidence-based medicine supporting secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease; (2) identify and prioritize cardiovascular disease risk factors for secondary prevention; (3) identify barriers to and solutions for implementing secondary prevention; and (4) develop site-based plans for cardiovascular risk-factor modification with definite time lines for implementation ('care maps'). The HCP's initial audit of medical practices indicates that Texas appears to share the same deficiencies in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease as the rest of the country. However, improvements can be demonstrated in both the hospital and physician office settings through the HCP. The HCP facilitated the cooperation of the medical community in the state of Texas to work together in a synchronized, communicative manner to decrease coronary events. This partnership represents a watershed event in the history of Texas medicine. It is the first time that such a statewide team approach to address a public health issue has been initiated. In the past, medical organizations within the state have had disparate goals and multiple strategies for achieving them. Copyright (C) 2000 Excerpta Medica Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine