A display at the Center for Total Health features performance improvement work in the Georgia Region on hypertension management.

Innovation Snapshot: Ali R. Rahimi, MD, MPH, FACC


Getting to the Heart of Performance Improvement in Hypertension Management

This is a special series hearing from the voices of our Permanente physicians on how they bring innovation into their practice to support Permanente Medicine.

By Ali R. Rahimi, MD, MPH, FACC

Ali R. Rahimi, MD, MPH, FACC

Who am I?

I am the son of two gracious, resilient parents, Farhang and Shirin, who immigrated to the United States in 1978 when I was 4. I am an older brother to two wonderful sisters, Ana and Azita. I am a lifelong student who loves to learn and ask questions. During my journey, I was blessed to marry a beautiful, brave woman, Layla, who is my best friend and love of my life. I am a father of three great and thoughtful children, Yasmin, Kayvon, and Ava. I am also the fun uncle to three nieces and three nephews! In sum, I am a blessed guy who is surrounded and supported by a wonderful family.

What do I do for The Southeast Permanente Medical Group?

I have been a heart doctor with The Southeast Permanente Medical Group (TSPMG) since finishing my cardiology fellowship in 2010. I spend most of my time seeing patients in clinic and hospital settings, focusing on preventive cardiology and congestive heart failure. In 2011, shortly after helping TSPMG start our new cardiology practice, I assumed the role as physician program director for Cardiovascular Quality. This role allowed me to use my background in public health and outcomes research to improve the quality of care for our members who are at risk of, or living with, heart disease.

At the same time, I began development of a graduate-level course, “Health Care Performance Improvement,” to teach the science of process management to our regional leaders. I continue to provide guidance and consulting for Kaiser Permanente Georgia’s growing Performance Improvement (PI) community. As the physician director of Performance Improvement, I work with a talented team that includes our associate medical director for Quality, HCPI faculty, regional workgroups, and our frontline health care teams to improve the care of every member.

How’s it going?

It is going very well. We are blessed with good health at home and fun times together. Our cardiology practice is now well established with the support of our executives and a team of talented, good-hearted fellow cardiologists, associate providers, nurses, techs and, of course, loyal patients. I love my practice. In 2015 we were recognized by the Centers for Disease Control as a Million Hearts Champion for our hypertension improvement, now with 89 percent control. Our HCPI course is now 4 years old, with over 123 graduates promoting a culture of performance improvement while generating a solid return on investment. Lastly, our region is growing thanks to great stewards and quality medicine. Life is good. Joining Permanente Medicine was the right decision both for my family and professional life.

Ali R. Rahimi, MD, MPH, FACC, is a cardiologist with The Southeast Permanente Medical Group and physician director for Performance Improvement and Cardiovascular Quality, Kaiser Permanente Georgia. Dr. Rahimi is also an adjunct associate professor at Emory University. His work on performance improvement for hypertension management is on display at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health in Washington, DC. Follow him on Twitter @alirahimi06.