Kaiser Permanente Fresno hailed for hypertension care

September 21, 2012 12:46:22 AM PDT
One of the most chronic health problems in the Valley and across the country is actually simple to control. So why is high blood pressure so out of control?

Registered nurse, Dawn Silva knows her patients well at Kaiser Permanente in Northeast Fresno. She's guided Lee Domingo as he works to control his blood pressure, which he spent years, ignoring. But earlier this year, the retired Fresno father and grandfather changed his lifestyle after a stroke. Now he's doing all he can to be around to enjoy his family, for years to come.

Domingo said, "If I do it for myself then I'm telling my wife and my kids, I love you enough to be here for you."

Dawn then inputs Lee's blood pressure reading and other vitals into his electronic health record.

Kaiser has its own, high blood pressure or hypertension registry that helps track patients, to watch how they're managing it with lifestyle changes and if necessary, medication.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control, noted Kaiser's success rate in treating high blood pressure, using tools like the electronic health record. Doctor Shashi Bains says patients are also monitored by a number of departments so it doesn't fall on one physician.

From the patient's doctor to the pharmacist. Many people at Kaiser Permanente are involved in a patient care and controlling high blood pressure so there are more chances to catch a potential problem.

"Things like kidney failure can be a result of uncontrolled blood pressure," Dr. Shashi Bains said. "But obviously stroke and heart attack are very devastating and they can be prevented if blood pressure is controlled."

Doctor Bains says if your blood pressure numbers are above 140/90, then your heart is working too hard to pump blood through your body and you should get it checked. She says medicine can only do so much. It's up to the patient to take charge of their health.

Lee found that out he says, just in time.

"I've got one body, I've got one life," Domingo said. "I gotta take it and make it better than what it was."


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