Hiding in Plain Sight: Finding Patients with Undiagnosed Hypertension

Originally presented on February 18, 2016

Hilary K. Wall, MPH

Senior Health Scientist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

Sandy Cafarchio
Executive Director, Health Center Network of New York (HCNNY)


Preventing Chronic Disease is one of five priority action plans of the New York State Prevention Agenda. One of the three goals of the priority area is to promote the use of evidence based care to manage chronic diseases like hypertension. A key intervention to achieve the goal of improved hypertension control is to support the adoption and use of electronic health records to increase the percentage of people with hypertension who have their blood pressure controlled (less than 140/90 mmHg). Data from 2009-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) show that 13 million people are not aware they have hypertension and therefore not taking medication to control it. This population remains undiagnosed. 

This webcast will introduce the importance of identifying patients with undiagnosed hypertension and how the use of electronic health records can assist health care professionals in identifying and managing patients in their practice whose high blood pressure (greater than 140/90 mmHg) has gone undiagnosed. Participants will learn of the health risk associated with this population and steps health systems can take to identify patients with undiagnosed hypertension, a population hiding in plain sight.

Program Note: This webcast will be followed up with a CDC Fireside Chat on February 23 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EST. Fireside Chats are a new, interactive format for state health agencies to hear from content experts on a number of issues pertaining to cardiovascular health and 1305 priority areas. Speakers for this live-streaming event include Dr. Ian Brissette from the New York State Department of Health and Dr. James Schultz from Neighborhood Healthcare in San Diego, CA. Lines will be open to allow questions and perspective from the audience. For more information visit the first Fireside Chat info, or contact Julia Schneider.

Learning Objectives
After watching this webcast participants will be able to:

  • Identify the goal of the Million Hearts Initiative;
  • Explain the health risk associated with undiagnosed hypertension; and
  • Describe a common four-step process health systems can undertake to identify patients with undiagnosed hypertension

The planners, moderator, and presenters do not have any financial arrangements or affiliations with any commercial entities whose products, research or services may be discussed in this activity.

No commercial funding has been accepted for this activity.

Continuing Medical Education Credits

The School of Public Health, University at Albany is accredited by the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The School of Public Health, University at Albany designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Continuing Medical Education Credits are offered until February 28, 2019.

Continuing Nurse Education Contact Hours

The University at Albany School of Public Health is an Approved Provider of continuing nurse education by the Northeast Multi-State Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

This offering is approved for 1 nursing contact hour(s).

Nursing Contact Hours are offered until February 28, 2019.

Certified Health Education Specialist Contact Hours

Sponsored by the School of Public Health, University and Albany, SUNY, a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES) to receive up to 1.0 total Category I contact education contact hours. Maximum advanced-level continuing education contact hours available are 0.

Continuing Education Contact Hours are offered until February 28, 2019.