• A very new approach was developed at Kaiser Permanente, the big California health care organization. Now 80% of patients using it have their blood pressure under control. (120/80 is normal. High is 140/90 or higher).Can you adapt these new ideas in your program of care? Here’s what Kaiser Permanente did to be successful.1. Started patients on two blood-pressure drugs from the start. (They changed the doctor’s guidelines which had patients started on a single drug before graduating to two)

    2. Created a registry of all patients with high blood pressure. Then they telephoned those with no recent checkup asking them to take a blood pressure test.

    3. Identified those patients who would benefit from a more effective treatment and told the doctors the information.

    4. Sometimes prescribed a pill combining the two drugs instead of two separate pills. Patients appreciated the ease and lower co-pay. They were more likely to take the pill consistently.

    5. Performed blood pressure checkups by a medical assistant instead of a doctor. Patients had more flexibility and availability in scheduling. They were more likely to get tests consistently.

    6. Encouraged more exercise such as walking three miles, three times a week and a weekly strength-training class.

    Does your doctor work with you on these points? Bring them up and discuss what can be done to improve your health based on these steps.

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    Article by: Dianne Morris

    As a designer and entrepreneur, products for women have always been my focus. In my first company DianneSullivan Designs, I designed and made fun jewelry for young women to buy in boutiques and department stores. That company transitioned into Miraflores Designs which designed and supplied custom designed soap, shampoo and other toiletries for hotel chains including Hyatt, Sheraton and many others. After selling that company, my next company, Bay Linens, Inc, designed decorative bedding which was sold through Bloomingdales, Bed, Bath & Beyond and other retailers. Our home decor products, with the brand, China Seas, was sold at Isetan Department stores in Japan. At this stage of life I'm connecting with other women over 50 who want to examine their interests and to connect with each other. At ZestNow.com I want to gather useful information and inspiration for this new phase of life.

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