Hypertension is among the most common chronic diseases and a major risk factor in cardiovascular disease, stroke, congestive heart failure and kidney disease; one-third (approximately 30%) of the U.S. adult population is affected by hypertension, categorized by high blood pressure. A subset of hypertensive adults will further be identified as suffering from resistant hypertension, defined as a failure to achieve goal blood pressure (BP) when adhering to the maximum tolerated doses of 3 antihypertensive drugs. Evidence from large studies have recently reported the prevalence of resistant hypertension as 14.8% of treated hypertensive patients and 12.5% of all hypertensives, making this condition a relatively common clinical problem.
ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) is an innovative model that uses technology to link front-line primary care clinicians in medically underserved communities with specialist care teams at university medical centers to manage patients with chronic conditions that require complex care, like resistant hypertension. In a collaborative effort, Americares, Loyola University, ECHO-Chicago at the University of Chicago and the Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (IAFCC) implemented a statewide demonstration in Illinois, selecting five free and charitable clinics to participate in the ECHO-Chicago Resistant Hypertension Clinic: CommunityHealth (Chicago, IL), Community Health Care Clinic (Normal, IL), Family Health Partnership Clinic (Crystal Lake, IL), Tri City Health Partnership (St. Charles, IL), Will-Grundy Medical Clinic (Joliet, IL).
The goal of this initiative was to improve the treatment and management of resistant hypertension in free clinic patients, improve health outcomes for those with this condition and demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of implementing the ECHO model in a free and charitable clinic setting.
Click here to read more about the Americares ECHO Initiative.
ECHO Materials and Resources
- Project ECHO at the University of New Mexico
- ECHO-Chicago at the University of Chicago