If you want to help patients control their hypertension, it starts with YOU making hypertension control a practice or system priority and committing to making a change in your patients’ healthcare and the community in which they live.
The Million Hearts Hypertension Control Change Package is one option that outlines 17 high-level change concepts with tools and resources for each. One particular concept involves expanding the hypertension care team to include community health workers (CHWs), something already being done in Indiana via the Indiana Community Health Worker Association (INCHWA).
CHWs are integral in educating their communities about heart health, serving as frontline public health workers in the communities they are a part of and understand, according to Briana Spiegl, INCHWA Central Office Director.
Through generous funding from the Indiana State Department of Health, INCHWA has developed a free online training course focusing on preventing heart disease and stroke. The training was developed specifically for CHWs to assist in educating their communities about cardiovascular disease prevention.
The four modules take 20 to 30 minutes each to complete and include a short pre- and post-test with a certificate of completion once done. The test can be taken using either a computer or a smartphone.
To refocus your practice or system priorities on hypertension control and preventing heart disease and stroke, those who currently employ CHWs or are considering it should explore the guidelines offered by the Million Hearts Hypertension Control Change Package and consider the free training available by INCHWA.
The Indiana State Department of Health’s website also provides a full listing of training opportunities and certification for Medicaid billing needed by CHWs.