Central Ozarks Medical Center and the American Heart Association

Our medical center in mid-Missouri cares for all of our patients. We’re dedicated to providing comprehensive medical care for the Lake of the Ozarks region. Check out this recent article that showcases how technology and care meet with a self-monitoring blood pressure device with Central Ozarks Medical Center!

High blood pressure is one of the leading risk factors for heart disease. In Missouri, 34% of adults have been told they have high blood pressure. Many more Missourians without symptoms of high blood pressure or access to healthcare are unknowingly living with the disease. To address this disparity in awareness and treatment, the American Heart Association collaborated with Central Ozark Medical Center (COMC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with four locations in rural central Missouri – Camdenton Medical & Dental Center, Eldon Dental Center, Osage Medical Center, and Richland Medical Center.

Central Ozark Medical Center (COMC) has a mission to increase access to comprehensive primary and preventative health care and to improve the health care status of underserved and vulnerable populations in Camden, Laclede, Miller, and Pulaski Counties in Missouri. Offering a wide range of services based on the needs of the communities including medical, behavioral, dental and substance abuse programs, COMC is offering high quality healthcare regardless of insurance status. COMC serves over 18,000 patients annually with nearly 98% of its patient population living at or below 200% of Federal Poverty Guideline and 38% of adult patients have hypertension.

While working with patients to manage health and wellness, COMC staff also work to address the root causes of health disparities by addressing access to food, housing, and health insurance with care coordination, and access to health care particularly when it comes to treating hypertension. With the support of the National Hypertension Control Initiative (NHCI), a collaboration of the American Heart Association, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care, COMC established and piloted a fully integrated self-monitoring blood pressure (SMBP) initiative for their patients suffering from uncontrolled high blood pressure. The initiative has been successful with strong COMC provider champions and referrals identifying patients with uncontrolled hypertension. COMC staff provide referred patients with validated Bluetooth enabled home blood pressure monitoring devices and patient education resources on the risks of high blood pressure, the importance of self-monitoring, the proper technique for monitoring, and communicating results with the provider team. THE COMC team uses AHA/AMA Target: BP materials to create standardized protocols to train staff to ensure fidelity to SMBP best practices. This protocol includes standardized training for patients as well. Patients use Bluetooth capable monitors that are integrated with the eClinicalWorks EHR software supporting with NHCI funding, allowing patients’ blood pressure readings to be logged electronically within the EHR for timely follow-up by clinical care team members.

Central Ozarks Medical Center

Keeping Lack of Insurance From Being a Roadblock to Quality Healthcare

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