Emergency department detection and follow-up of high blood pressure: Use and effectiveness of community health workers

Lee R. Bone, Joyce Mamon, David M. Levine, Jo Marie Walrath, Joy Nanda, Hubert T. Gurley, Eric K. Noji, Elizabeth Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study introduced trained paraprofessionals, community health workers (CHWs), into the emergency department (ED) to supplement providers' routine efforts in high blood pressure (HBP) detection, treatment, and follow-up among high-risk black men. In a demonstration project over a 2-year period, CHWs provided (1) BP and pulse measurements, and educational counseling regarding HBP and cardiovascular risk factors; (2) telephone preappointment reminders to improve ED follow-up visit rates; and (3) recontact of patients failing to show for their ED follow-up visits to improve return rates even after missed BP appointments. Results of preappointment reminders by CHWs showed a 19% improvement in appointment keeping (P < .001). With a sample of patients who had failed to return for a follow-up visit, CHW contact was also effective, showing an overall improvement rate of 7% (P < .001). The results reported support the idea that individuals from the community, trained as paraprofessionais, can improve appointment keeping as well as be useful in assisting in screening and counseling for chronic conditions within the ED. These CHWs are seen as having the additional advantage of enhancing the integration of the ED, the community, and continuing care sites. The approaches used in this study should be applicable and may serve as a model for the approach to other chronic conditions experienced in urban high-risk communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-20
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1989

Keywords

  • Community linkages
  • community health workers
  • detection follow-up
  • emergency department
  • outreach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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