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Giving Congregations the Tools to Track Health Together

Giving Congregations the Tools to Track Health Together

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Published by iHT²
All across New York City, members of houses of worship and other community organizations have taken
on the mission of helping each other live long, healthy lives. One example of this is a church-based
program in which congregants run regular blood pressure monitoring programs after Sunday Services;
organize walking clubs; teach classes on healthy cooking; and hold “Biggest Loser” competitions.
All across New York City, members of houses of worship and other community organizations have taken
on the mission of helping each other live long, healthy lives. One example of this is a church-based
program in which congregants run regular blood pressure monitoring programs after Sunday Services;
organize walking clubs; teach classes on healthy cooking; and hold “Biggest Loser” competitions.

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Published by: iHT² on Sep 21, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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Giving Congregations the Tools to Track Health Together
All across New York City, members of houses of worship and other community organizations have takenon the mission of helping each other live long, healthy lives. One example of this is a church-basedprogram in which congregants run regular blood pressure monitoring programs after Sunday Services;
organize walking clubs; teach classes on healthy cooking; and hold “Biggest Loser” competitions.
Over a year ago, The Primary Care Information Project (PCIP), a bureau of the New York City HealthDepartment, met with 9 community-based organizations, all church health ministries with active bloodpressure monitoring programs, to see if health information technology could strengthen their healthprograms. The church leaders identified the following challenges:The paper cards they used to track blood pressure (BP) readings made it difficult to conduct targetedoutreach to members with the highest risk for adverse health events.They had no easy way to track health trends in the church community on the whole.In response to suggestions from this meeting, PCIP partnered with a leading Personal Health Record(PHR) software vendor to develop the Community Health Dashboard. In March of 2012, four Brooklynchurches began using the Dashboard as part of the blood pressure monitoring sessions.Through blood pressure monitoring at these churches, 116 members have signed up for a PHR andshared their blood pressure readings with the health ministry volunteers.
The Dashboard has several functions
Participant Look-Up:
The lay health worker cangenerate a list of participants with thegreatest risk
 
for heartattack and stroke accordingto their most recent BP.He/she and othervolunteers can make sureto check in more regularlywith these participants andprioritize them for inclusionin new health programs.
 
Progress function:
The lay health worker canreview the trends in bloodpressure and weight amongparticipants by group to see if the group has met its goalsfor improvement. The GroupProgress function also has thepotential to allow the churchcommunity to take part in acompetition between localchurches with prizes andrecognition for thecommunity with the greatestimprovements in weight andblood pressure control.
Personal Health Record:
This web-based functionwould allow each participantto access his/her records onthe Internet. Each of theparticipants will have theability to enter any additionalmeasurements they takeoutside the church setting ata pharmacy or on anautomated home monitor.
Goal setting:
Once the church community has set goals for identifying and reducing the number of congregants withhigh blood pressure, progress towards these group goals can be tracked, and regularly featured in thechurch program and announced during services.

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