Home blood pressure monitoring
The Utah Department of Health is working with partners around the state and nation through the Million Hearts Partnership to prevent heart attacks. One of the things we are working on is promoting Home Blood Pressure Monitoring (HBPM). HBPM helps accurately diagnose hypertension and empowers people to manage their disease more effectively.
HBPM allows patients and healthcare professionals to get a “true” blood pressure reading. Patients take their own blood pressure at multiple points throughout the day so that they can see the trend under normal life circumstance rather than focusing on one particular point in time, which can happen when hypertension is diagnosed in a clinic.
About one quarter, or 25% of Utahn adults have hypertension. Unfortunately, only about half of adults with hypertension have their disease under control. This puts them at risk for more serious consequences like heart disease and stroke. Most people who have hypertension have no signs or symptoms, and may not feel like they need to take their medication or change their behaviors since they don’t feel sick. HBPM builds patient awareness of high blood pressure and allows patients to see progress towards meeting their blood pressure goals. Patients who are taking their medication as directed and still aren’t seeing changes to their blood pressure can also alert their healthcare provider to a potential problem.
The Utah Department of Health plans to work with local clinics to develop sustainable HBPM Program models, which can then be shared with other clinics. Patients who are having trouble managing their hypertension receive training on how to use their cuff correctly and enter the readings into a secure patient portal. Each week a team member at the clinic will look at the readings, follow up with patients if their blood pressure remains high, and modify medications as needed to achieve blood pressure control.