Integrating Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessments into Clinical Workflows to Improve Patient Outcomes

News | July 6th, 2023

Cardiovascular diseases affect almost one-half of adults in America. These diseases also account for about a quarter of all deaths in the U.S. each year.

While these numbers are alarming, there is an effective way for care teams to identify a patient's likelihood of cardiovascular disease and reduce their risk: an atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk score. This score helps to improve cardiovascular health by using scientific evidence to develop clinical practice guidelines.

While the ASCVD risk score has proven to be a useful tool to aid in prevention efforts, most primary care physicians don’t have a systematic approach available within their clinical workflows to effectively use it.

Diving into The ASCVD Risk Score

Asymptomatic adults can use the ASCVD Risk Score starting at age 40 to estimate their risk of heart attack or stroke. The score calculates an individual's 10-year risk of developing
atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, such as coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease (stroke or transient ischemic attack), peripheral vascular disease, aortic atherosclerosis or aneurysm.

ASCVD risk calculators consider a variety of factors, including: age, sex, race, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, treatment for hypertension, presence of diabetes, and smoking history.

A calculated risk score helps clinicians determine whether preventative measures are needed. Depending on the results of the ASCVD risk assessment, clinicians may recommend that the individual change their diet and add exercise to ensure their risk stays low. If the patient’s risk is higher, clinicians may suggest lipid-lowering medications or more intensive treatments.

Implementing ASCVD Risk Assessments in Primary Care

Given that cardiovascular disease is preventable, evaluating ASCVD risk should be a key component of primary care. However, despite knowing the positive benefit these scores can have on patient health, primary care providers are not yet widely adopting risk assessments as a regular part of their patient screenings.

The reason for this is a large number of barriers within the practice, including insufficient time, lack of documented clinical workflows to use a calculator, difficulty accessing calculators and lack of necessary information to input into a calculator. Many primary care providers are also unable to automatically calculate ASCVD risk scores due to their reliance on disparate tools and manual processes, causing an increase in admin time and decrease in time spent focusing on patient care.

But, these outdated practices need to change. Integrating ASCVD risk assessments into EHR workflows with actionable clinical decision support tools is key to ensuring that primary care providers can effectively help patients benefit from early screening and preventative actions.

Managing Cardiovascular Disease with Remote Patient Monitoring and Clinical Decision Support Tools

Primary care providers need an EHR integrated solution that can pull relevant data into a single view, and allow care teams to filter by ASCVD risk and prioritize patients who may be at the highest risk.

Rimidi’s Cardiovascular Disease platform empowers clinicians with better data to risk stratify patients, implement remote patient monitoring for those at the highest risk, and intervene with timely, guideline-based management via embedded clinical decision support cards for patients with hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.

Learn more about Rimidi