Topic: Health Care Quality

Question: (150 words each)

Based on the following questions, kindly help me respond to the attached peers submission to the discussion

Visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Select one of the achievable measures from Diseases and Conditions.


  • one area where nationally we are at benchmark.
  • one area where we are close to benchmark.
  • one area where we are far from benchmark.

On the area where we are far from benchmark, suggest a policy to move us closer to Quality.



Bess Trevino


For this discussion, I chose to identify national benchmarks related to preventive care. Since preventive care is the foundation of value-based models and helps contain healthcare costs, it is essential to focus on such benchmarks. Such benchmarks are also crucial for addressing population-based health, reaching Triple Aim goals, and meeting healthy people goals.

One area where nationally we are at benchmark and have exceeded the benchmark relates to blood cholesterol measurements in adults in the last five years. The benchmark goal was to have 82.3% of adults nationally. To date, adults who have had a blood cholesterol test over the previous five years are 89.5% (AHRQ, n.d). High blood cholesterol raises the risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death, and stroke, the fifth leading cause of death in the US (CDC c, 2021). 12% of US adults over age 20 had cholesterol higher than 240mg/dL (CDC c, 2021).

We are close to the benchmark to ensuring women ages 21-65 receive a PAP smear test in the last three years or the HPV vaccine during the previous five years. For this category, the benchmark is 84.2% of women in this age group to receive a PAP smear. Nationally we are at 75.1% (AHRQ, n.d.). While this is about 10% from reaching the goal, preventing cervical cancer in women of all ages is critical. Cervical cancer deaths have decreased in the US in the last 40 years, but it used to be the leading cause of cancer death in women (CDCa, 2021). This decline is associated with regular PAP smear screening. HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer.

Finally, we are far from the national benchmark to prevent hospital admissions for hypertension in adults 18 and over. The benchmark is 62.6%. Currently, we have achieved 19.1% nationally. This is 227.7% below the benchmark. I chose this benchmark because it is also part of the CDC’s 6|18 initiative previously discussed in this course. One of the strategies to achieve this goal is to improve care coordination using primary care teams, standard protocols, and medication management programs (CDCb, 2018).

A policy I suggest is to enlist a standard protocol for checking blood pressure more frequently in high-risk adults 18 and over. High blood pressure is diagnosed when systolic blood pressure is consistently above 130 or diastolic BP is greater than 80. Diagnoses usually require three measurements a week apart (Fogoros, 2021). Other labs can determine if elevated BP is either essential or secondary hypertension. Annual Well visits should be conducted and are covered at no cost under all health plans. The Well visit provides a prime opportunity for primary care providers to address suspected high blood pressure. The policy should require a month of blood pressure monitoring and reporting. A small portable monitor c