By giving health care providers a means to measure modifiable behaviors through a web application that is linked to the Electronic Health Record, Ohio State’s Dr. Randi Foraker and other researchers hope to improve cardiovascular health in patients.
Dr. Foraker, assistant professor in the division of epidemiology at The Ohio State University College of Public Health, is the principal investigator on a grant from Pfizer Inc. for a study entitled “Stroke Prevention in Healthcare Delivery EnviRonmEnts (SPHERE)”, which includes co-investigator Dr. Abigail Shoben, assistant professor of biostatistics.
Now entering its second year of funding, the team is collecting data from the pilot outpatient clinic at Ohio State for a three month period, and will measure it against the data from the same three month period taken last year in order to measure changes in the cardiovascular health of patients at that clinic.
“Because it is only a two year project, we are not measuring stroke as an outcome,” Dr. Foraker said. “What we wanted to focus on were the risk factors that can ultimately lead to stroke, and so we chose the American Heart Association’s My Life Check Life’s Simple 7, which are seven modifiable behaviors and factors that are related to stroke and also coronary heart disease.”
Five of the seven factors are readily available in the Electronic Health Record. The SPHERE application uses a “traffic light” rating system to communicate to the patient and provider whether the patient’s cardiovascular health factors are at ideal (green), intermediate (yellow), or poor (red) levels. The overall aim of the study is to decrease the burden of stroke and its modifiable risk factors among older women in primary care practices by leveraging existing health information technology.