Green Spring Internal Medicine Wins National Blood Pressure Control Challenge

November 25, 2020

Bethesda and Lutherville, MD – Green Spring Internal Medicine, a member of Aledade’s Primary Care ACO, was announced as the winner of Phase 2 of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s (ONC) Electronic Health Record (EHR) Innovations for Improving Hypertension Challenge. The Maryland-based practice, led by Dr. Holly Dahlman, was awarded for designing and spreading an innovative strategy to implement effective blood pressure treatment protocols.

Dr. Dahlman designed and implemented a new approach to identifying and treating patients with high blood pressure – a chronic condition that can lead to heart attack or stroke. By using Aledade’s population health data and analytical tools, Dahlman was able to identify high-risk patients, help them make lifestyle changes, and then monitor their blood pressure at home. At Green Spring Internal Medicine alone, the practice increased its rate of patients who were actively controlling their high blood pressure from 47 percent in 2011 to 79 percent in 2014.

“In 2011, we recognized that hypertension was an area we needed to improve in to keep our patients healthy – so we set out to find the best tools and approaches to treating high blood pressure. Our Three Rs approach is a technology-enabled, patient-centered strategy that has significantly improved high blood pressure control in our practice,” Dr. Dahlman said. “We are honored to be recognized for our accomplishments and efforts to help other practices adopt the EHR tools and population health strategies needed to control blood pressure in their patients.”

ONC’s EHR Innovations for Improving Hypertension Challenge was a two-phase program with the goal of finding specific health IT tools and approaches to implement the most effective blood pressure treatment protocols to improve practice-wide blood pressure control. In 2014, Green Spring was recognized as one of two winners in Phase 1, for designing and implementing its innovative “Three Rs” strategy: timely use of registries to identify high-risk patients with hypertension, providing resources like the DASH diet, and engaging patients in their home blood pressure readings. Green Spring was the sole winner and $30,000 grant recipient of Phase 2 for designing and implementing the GreenSpringMed Hypertension Challenge which involved 13 practices across four states working together to implement the “Three R’s” and creating new practice-based strategies to improve hypertension.
As a small practice, Green Spring Internal Medicine uses a population health management approach that combines IT tools with evidence-based care to improve high blood pressure control. The practice’s “Three Rs” Strategy uses a patient registry to identify and reach out to high-risk patients and schedule them for visits. The practice recommends the DASH diet as a resource to most patients with hypertension to help control high blood pressure. Patients are empowered to take control of their own blood pressure by conducting home blood pressure readings, recording, and reviewing them with providers at visits. Providers prescribe evidence-based anti-hypertensive medications and encourage lifestyle changes to control hypertension according to evidence-based guidelines.

After seeing such significant results in its own practice, Green Spring was determined to help other practices improve blood pressure control. Green Spring partnered with Aledade to design its own GreensSpringMed Hypertension Challenge, and it invited practices in the Aledade ACO, the Maryland Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) pilot program, those affiliated with the Maryland and Virginia Quality Improvement Organization, and those affiliated with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to participate. The Challenge asked that each of the 13 participating practices design and implement their own blood pressure control protocol. Green Spring encouraged the practices to use the Three Rs strategy in doing so.

“There is a shift happening in healthcare to focus on quality improvement and patient-centered care. High blood pressure control is low hanging fruit for quality improvement,” said Dr. Dahlman. “Empowered with EHR and patient outreach tools, any size practice can identify their high risk patients and provide the necessary resources and tools to all patients with hypertension to improve health outcomes and avoid costly health complications.”

Green Spring Internal Medicine’s commitment to improving high blood pressure control in its patient population reflects the practice’s broader mission of using population health management to equip, empower, and engage patients in their healthcare. As one of Aledade’s first ACO partner practices, Green Spring recognized how joining an ACO could help achieve the Triple Aim of healthcare: improving patient care, improving population health, and reducing costs.

Aledade’s mission is to empower doctors on the front lines of medicine with cutting-edge technology to help them deliver high-quality care, while bringing down health care costs. Aledade partners with independent primary care practices to make it easy, profitable, and low-risk for physicians to succeed in the value-based health care economy. Since its founding in June 2014, the company has partnered with more than 110 practices across 11 states, and covers approximately 100,000 Medicare beneficiaries. Aledade is a member of the National Association of Accountable Care Organizations.

Over the past year, Aledade ACO practices have increased preventative care visits by 400 percent and vaccination rates by 250 percent. All Aledade practices offer same or next day appointments for patients with urgent needs, and 95 percent of Aledade physician partners provide 24 hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week patient access to an on-call doctor. All Aledade ACOs manage these cornerstones of care through Aledade’s proprietary, cloud-based technology and analytics platform.

About Aledade
Founded in 2014, Aledade is a new company with an old-fashioned goal: putting doctors back in control of health care. Aledade partners with independent, primary care physicians to provide everything the doctors need to create and run an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) – from business and practice transformation services to upfront capital and cutting-edge technology. The company is led by CEO and co-founder Dr. Farzad Mostashari, former National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and has already established successful organizations in New York, Delaware, Maryland, and Arkansas.

Aledade employs a team of health policy, regulatory, data and practice transformation experts to implement customized solutions and continuous, on-the-ground support to help doctors in all types of communities across America preserve their autonomy, deliver better care to their patients, reduce overall costs, and keep independent physician practices flourishing. For more, visit:

About Green Spring Internal Medicine
Green Spring Internal Medicine is an independent primary care practice led by Dr. Holly Dahlman. Based in Lutherville, MD, Green Spring is a team-based practice with a care team of a nurse practitioner and care manager, three medical assistants, and a medical office assistant. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Osler Residency program, primary care practice innovation is Dr. Dahlman’s area of interest and expertise. Green Spring Internal Medicine’s vision is to equip, empower, and engage patients in their own healthcare. The practice is an NCQA Level 3 PCMH, and Dr. Dahlman is co-chair of the Aledade’s Performance Improvement Workgroup.

For Immediate Release:
Nicholas Samonas
(202) 792-7200