There are lots of statistics that demonstrate how grave the hypertension problem is in the United States—including that some 120 million Americans, or 46% of the population, have high blood pressure, and it goes uncontrolled in half of them. But there are also numbers emerging that tell another side of the story, including what the medical profession is doing to improve BP control rates.

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Our self-measured blood pressure quick guide offers an easy reference for physicians and care teams to help train patients to perform SMBP monitoring.

As a case in point, more than 1,200 physician practices and health systems this year enrolled in the Target: BP Recognition Program, developed by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the AMA to celebrate health care organizations that achieve BP control rates of 70% or greater in the populations they serve.

Target: BP™ is a national initiative formed by the AHA and the AMA in response to the high prevalence of uncontrolled BP. It helps health care organizations and care teams improve BP control rates—at no cost—through the evidence-based AMA MAP BP™ quality improvement protocols.

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“With high blood pressure-control rates declining and deaths from cardiovascular disease on the rise, it is more important now than ever to help people get their blood pressure under control,” said AMA President Gerald E. Harmon, MD. “We will continue to make hypertension control a top priority and lead efforts to improve the health of the nation.”

Nearly all, 96%, of the organizations that enrolled in the Target: BP Recognition Program in 2021 submitted annual data on their BP control rates. Among these, more than one-third achieved gold status by reporting BP control rates of 70% or higher, with an average control rate of 77%.

The recognized organizations represent more than 28 million adult patients, including over 8 million with a diagnosis of hypertension.

To further celebrate excellence in evidence-based BP activities, Target: BP launched two new award categories for 2021—gold+ and silver—emphasizing the importance of accurate BP measurement equipment, regular staff education and training, and reliable systems of care to ensure accurate BP measurement for every patient, every time.

Of the organizations that reported BP control rates of 70% or higher, more than two-thirds received gold+ status for attesting to having accomplished at least four of six evidence-based BP activities. In addition, among those that did not report BP control rates of 70% or higher, nearly half received silver status by attesting to four or more of those activities.

Those organizations that did not achieve BP control rates of 70% or higher and completed three or fewer of the activities but still shared their data, received participant status.

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Organizations participating in the Target: BP Recognition Program enjoy promotion from the AHA and the AMA. They also receive a toolkit of template materials and digital assets, such as a press release and images, as well as branded items to highlight their achievements around their practices.

The Target: BP website features numerous videos and other resources to make getting started in the Target: BP Recognition Program quick and easy:

  1. An overview on submitting data

    1. This video briefly summarizes what you need to get started.

  2. The finer points on data submission

    1. Look here for additional details on sharing your Target: BP data.

  3. Help with the platform

    1. A screencast includes tips on using program forms, reports and the library.

  4. A useful worksheet

    1. This PDF includes a hypertension prevalence estimator and payor group guidance.

  5. The data user guide

    1. Get help completing and submitting your recognition data.

  6. Recognition FAQ

    1. This PDF covers registration, data submission, recognition criteria, device validation and calibration, BP measurement skills and more.

  7. Fact sheet

    1. Here’s a one-page overview of the program and its benefits.

The Target: BP website also features a variety of resources related to self-measured BP, including implementation tips, such as how to loan out devices, select a cuff size, train patients, collect data and manage devices.

In addition, the AMA supported the development of the US Blood Pressure Validated Device Listing (VDL™), which identifies BP measurement devices that have been validated for clinical accuracy in the U.S.

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