Design of a pragmatic cluster-randomized trial comparing telehealth care and best practice clinic-based care for uncontrolled high blood pressure

Karen L. Margolis, A. Lauren Crain, Anna R. Bergdall, Mary Sue Beran, Jeffrey P. Anderson, Leif I. Solberg, Patrick J. O'Connor, Jo Ann M. Sperl-Hillen, Pamala A. Pawloski, Jeanette Y. Ziegenfuss, Dan Rehrauer, Christine Norton, Patricia Haugen, Beverly B. Green, Zeke McKinney, Amy Kodet, Deepika Appana, Rashmi Sharma, Nicole K. Trower, Rae Ann WilliamsBenjamin F. Crabtree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Uncontrolled hypertension is the largest single contributor to all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in the U.S. population. Nurse- and pharmacist-led team-based care and telehealth care interventions have been shown to result in large and lasting improvements in blood pressure (BP); however, it is unclear how successfully these can be implemented at scale in real-world settings. It is also uncertain how telehealth interventions impact patient experience compared to traditional clinic-based care. Aims/objectives: To compare the effects of two evidence-based blood pressure care strategies in the primary care setting: (1) best-practice clinic-based care and (2) telehealth care with home BP telemonitoring and management by a clinical pharmacist. To evaluate implementation using mixed-methods supported by the RE-AIM framework and Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. Methods: The design is a cluster-randomized comparative effectiveness pragmatic trial in 21 primary care clinics (9 clinic-based care, 12 telehealth care). Adult patients (age 18–85) with hypertension are enrolled via automated electronic health record (EHR) tools during primary care encounters if BP is elevated to ≥150/95 mmHg at two consecutive visits. The primary outcome is change in systolic BP over 12 months as extracted from the EHR. Secondary outcomes are change in key patient-reported outcomes over 6 months as measured by surveys. Qualitative data are collected at various time points to investigate implementation barriers and help explain intervention effects. Conclusion: This pragmatic trial aims to inform health systems about the benefits, strengths, and limitations of implementing home BP telemonitoring with pharmacist management for uncontrolled hypertension in real-world primary care settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105939
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
StatePublished - May 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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