Learning Session 7

Health Equity and Increasing Medication Adherence for Hypertension Control

Speaker: Keith C. Ferdinand, MD, FACC, FAHA, FNLA, FASH
Professor of Medicine
Tulane University School of Medicine
Immediate Past-chair, National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

Date:  May 5, 2016

Brief Bio: (download)
Keith C Ferdinand, MD, is Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Tulane University School of Medicine. He is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease, certified in the subspecialty of nuclear cardiology, and a specialist in clinical hypertension certified by the American Society of Hypertension. Dr. Ferdinand is Immediate Past Chair of the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. As an investigator, Dr. Ferdinand has conducted numerous trials and widely published in the fields of cardiology, cardiovascular disease, lipids and cardio metabolic risk, especially in racial and ethnic minorities. In 2015, he was the Editor of the book, “Hypertension in High Risk African Americans”, published by Springer. In 2004, Dr. Ferdinand received the Louis B. Russell, Jr. Memorial Award of the American Heart Association and the Walter M. Booker Community Service Award of the Association of Black Cardiologists. In 2010, he was recognized by the Congressional Black Caucus Health Trust with an award for journalism, as well as the Charles Drew award for medical excellence in conjunction with the National Minority Quality Foundation. Most recently, in 2015, Dr. Ferdinand was inducted into the Association of University Cardiologists.

Watch the Presentation here (21 minutes)


Objectives of the presentation:

  • Increase the knowledge and ability of state and local health department to impact uncontrollable hypertension and achieve health equity through increasing medication adherence.

Main points to be covered:

  • Review the impact of health disparities and working towards health equity on high blood pressure control.
  • The challenges that both the healthcare provider and patient face in controlling high blood pressure through medication adherence, especially the minority population.
  • Strategies for the healthcare provider and the patient to reduce disparities in achieving blood pressure control through medication adherence.

Main points presented:

  • Disparities in HTN are significant, especially affecting African Americans.
  • Current recommendation of <140/90 mmHg associated with dramatic reductions in HTN complications with BP↓ often with combination therapy.
  • Focus should be on patient adherence and team-based care.
  • Through two-way communication, a healthcare provider can empower patients to take their medications as prescribed and improve the odds that those medications are taken properly.
  • Healthcare providers can take six steps to improve patient understanding.
  • There is a SIMPLE method to assist healthcare providers improve medication adherence among their patients.

Main take-away points:

  • There continues to be disparities in hypertension control among minorities, particularly in the African American population.
  • Reductions in hypertension can be achieved through medication and support from healthcare providers using a team based care approach.
  • Patients can be empowered and show greater hypertension control when their healthcare provider discusses their conditions in person and explains lifestyle and medication adherence steps.
  • When healthcare providers speak in simple, straight forward language it can increase the awareness and understanding by the patient.