Using an Established Telehealth Model to Train Urban Primary Care Providers on Hypertension Management


Christopher Masi, MD, PhD, Section of General Internal Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637


J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich).

The objective of this study was to determine whether a videoconference-based telehealth network can increase hypertension management knowledge and self-assessed competency among primary care providers (PCPs) working in urban Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). We created a telehealth network among 6 urban FQHCs and our institution to support a 12-session educational program designed to teach state-of-the-art hypertension management. Each 1-hour session included a brief lecture by a university-based hypertension specialist, case presentations by PCPs, and interactive discussions among the specialist and PCPs. Twelve PCPs (9 intervention and 3 controls) were surveyed at baseline and immediately following the curriculum. The mean number of correct answers on the 26-item hypertension knowledge questionnaire increased in the intervention group (13.11 [standard deviation (SD)]=3.06) to 17.44 [SD=1.59], P<.01) but not among controls (14.33 [SD=3.21] to 13.00 [SD=3.46], P=.06). Similarly, the mean score on a 7-item hypertension management self-assessed competency scale increased in the intervention group (4.68 [SD=0.94] to 5.41 [SD=0.89], P<.01) but not among controls (5.28 [SD=0.43] to 5.62 [SD=0.67], P=.64). This model holds promise for enhancing hypertension care provided by urban FQHC providers.