Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Risk Screening for Vulnerable Adults

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Crisp, Megan
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Background: Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States with the mortality rate increasing in some subpopulations. There are an estimated 40.2 million residents who have uncontrolled hypertension, a leading risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Guidelines have been developed to address ASCVD risk, treatment, and patient education through a 10-year risk assessment tool (Arnett et al., 2019). Objective: The goal of this QI project was to implement an ASCVD risk assessment tool in a community health clinic and initiate statin therapy based on risk scores and provide patient education related to modifiable risk factors. Methods: Risk assessment data was collected during the intake process for each patient. Using an ASCVD risk assessment tool, patients were assessed for risk and providers calculated 10- year and lifetime ASCVD risk scores. Based on these findings, providers determined if specific risk reduction education was needed and if initiation of statin therapy was indicated. Results: All patients seen in the community clinic during implementation were assessed for 10-year and lifetime ASCVD risk. Prior to the project there was no standardized screening tool used to assess for ASCVD risk. Retrospective chart reviews for established patients revealed that patient education increased from 11% pre- to 100% post-implementation through the use of an ASCVD specific printed educational packet. With risk scores, providers were able to make informed decisions related to treatments. Conclusion: Implementation of an ASCVD risk assessment tool facilitated the identification of vulnerable patients at risk for ASCVD and improved patient care by using ASCVD specific education and current evidence-based guidelines to determine interventions.