Walking Podcast! Janet Wright, MD, for Million Hearts: “systematic care, put in place, works like a charm”

Not walking, our brains have quit working. View ‘Ted Eytan MD and Janet Wright MD’ on Flickr.com

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I’ll try anything if it involves walking (my first walking podcast!), and luckily so will Janet Wright, MD, FACC, who’s the Executive Director of Million Hearts ( @MillionHeartsUS ):

a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services initiative with the explicit goal to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes in five years.

Maybe I have more than a passing interest in hypertension (if you read all the linked posts about it on this blog, you’ll see), and that’s what brought myself and Janet together, on foot.

The podcast shows that DC can be a noisy (and stunningly beautiful) place – I did my best to shape the audio to be more understandable, but in reality I think more than 5 minutes with this background wouldn’t be as fun, so I edited accordingly.

As Janet points out, DNA is not destiny, and it is the science of creating systems and teams that are going to allow us to manage a condition that affects 1/3 of the United States population.

You’re also get a peek inside the relationship between the primary care (family practice) and specialist (cardiology) point of view. Janet reminds me, correctly, that blood pressure is not easy to treat in every person, which is another reminder that we’re all necessary.

In our talk, she refers to an event in Washington, DC, that brought four innovative programs together to talk about their scale and spread across health care. In 2012, there are many more programs that harness the science of systems. Our friends at the AHRQ Innovations Exchange ( @AHRQIX ) have a whole resource of the people, methods, victories and challenges of each. From my work with AHRQIX, I believe that just about any idea to innovate in health care should start with a search on that resource. Here are the links to the four programs featured recently just as a (great) example.

Since we were walking and talking I needed to ask about walking meetings at the end and…Janet’s a fan! Keep this in mind if you are fortunate to work with her during this effort. She added yet another important reason to walk, talk, and think at the very end of our conversation – our brains quit working when we stand still. And you know, she’s right.

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