CDC guides promote involvement of pharmacists to manage hypertension

New resources encourage use of pharmacists’ patient care process to improve population health

CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, in collaboration with APhA and the American Medical Association, has released two resources aimed at embedding community pharmacists in the treatment and prevention of high blood pressure. Using the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process to Manage High Blood Pressure: A Resource Guide for Pharmacists offers guidance on how to put the pharmacists’ patient care process (PPCP) into practice and provides information about current resources and emerging practices. The second publication, Methods and Resources for Engaging Pharmacy Partners, is designed to connect public health departments with pharmacists to enhance team-based care.

Pharmacist resource guide

Pharmacists are the target audience of the first resource, Using the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process to Manage High Blood Pressure: A Resource Guide for Pharmacists.

“Basically what the CDC did was to develop a guide using the same principles as [PPCP] but specifically to manage and treat high blood pressure. And the CDC recognizes those contributions that community pharmacists make to improve population health. So developing this guide basically was a call to action to use [PPCP] as a way to prevent and manage high blood pressure through team-based care,” said Stacia Spridgen, PharmD, LTC (ret), USA, director of the APhA Federal Pharmacy Program.

The PPCP model, released by the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners in 2014, calls on pharmacists to establish patient–pharmacist relationships that support engagement and effective communication with patients, families, and caregivers. At the heart of the process is continual collaboration, documentation, and communication with physicians, other pharmacists, and other health professionals to provide safe, effective, and coordinated care.

“I think [PPCP] is a relatively new concept for people, and so this is an important way of getting it out there so it’s a more standardized, systematic approach to managing patients from a pharmacist perspective,” Spridgen added.

Community partnerships

The second resource, Methods and Resources for Engaging Pharmacy Partners, outlines strategies that health departments can use to “establish or expand pharmacy services as part of public health initiatives; provide resources that help health departments understand current pharmacy practices and successful pharmacy patient care initiatives; and inform health departments about pharmacy resources that can be used to advance public health initiatives, team-based care, and community–clinical links.”

“[The resource] helps the health departments to establish or expand the pharmacy services as a part of the public health initiative. They may not understand what current pharmacy practice is and successful pharmacy–patient care initiatives are, and that way they can reach out to their community pharmacy counterparts,” Spridgen said. “Like I said, they have ultimately the same goal of improving patient health and outcomes.”

Using the resources

“The way that the CDC is going to be disseminating this, of course, is on their website. They will disseminate the information to the state and local health departments because they have a relationship with those entities,” Spridgen said.

She wants to “tell [pharmacists] that these resource guides are available for their use, increase their knowledge base, better manage their patients with hypertension.” She said that they will be available on, and that she will also distribute them to the federal pharmacist community.

“I think [they highlight] the different resources that can be used to develop and expand partnerships between health departments and pharmacists as well as other pharmacy resources that they can use to increase their knowledge base, to help manage their patients, to consider when they’re managing patients with hypertension,” Spridgen said.

Access the guides:

Using the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process to Manage High Blood Pressure: A Resource Guide for Pharmacists
Methods and Resources for Engaging Pharmacy Partners