The Kaiser Permanente Northwest Cardiovascular Risk Factor Management Program: A Model for All
2005 Vohs Award Honorable Mention
By Jodi S Joyce, BS, BSN, MBA; Martina M Fetter, RN; Dean H Klopfenstein, RPh, CDE; Michael K Nash, BS
Spring 2005 - Volume 9 Number 2
Proof of the effectiveness of preventive measures that reduce established risk traits for atherothrombotic disorders has spurred attempts to systematically apply these interventions among susceptible populations. One such attempt is the Cardiovascular Risk Factor Management (CVRFM) Program, launched in 2003 to optimize clinical management and outcomes for 75,000 Kaiser Permanente Northwest Region (KPNW) members with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) or hypertension. The CVRFM Program is a centralized, multidisciplinary, proactive telephone-based clinical management intervention consisting of an "outreach" call, an interview, a mailed individualized care plan and information packet, regular follow-up (including protocolized medication management) and--when "goal status" is achieved--transfer of the patient to a maintenance plan.
Quarterly evaluation of effectiveness entailed measurement of a range of clinical, utilization, and member satisfaction outcomes. Results by the fourth quarter were outstanding: For example, >98% of participants with coronary disease or diabetes had LDL cholesterol testing, >90% of coronary patients received aspirin or statin treatment, 99% were "extremely" or "very" satisfied with the program, and reductions were observed in the number of hospitalizations and visits to the emergency department and clinic. Mathematical models predict a decrease in myocardial infarctions and cardiovascular mortality within two years after implementing the program, the underlying principles of which should yield similar improvement in other Kaiser Permanente (KP) Regions and in other health care organizations.