Home Blood Pressure Monitoring

About one quarter, or 25% of Utahn adults have hypertension. Unfortunately, only about half of adults with hypertension have their disease under control. Most people have no signs or symptoms and do not feel like they need to take medication or make changes to their lifestyle like eating less salt or exercising more.

Controlling high blood pressure can:

  • Decrease risk of stroke by 40%
  • Decrease risk of heart attack by 20%
  • Prevent almost 350,000 deaths annually

Self-monitoring of high blood pressure (SMBP) plus follow up care builds patient awareness of blood pressure. It helps patients see progress towards meeting their blood pressure goals.

SMBP plus follow up care is an important example of team based care. A member of the healthcare team trains the patient on monitoring their blood pressure and why it is important. It is the patient’s responsibility to check their blood pressure and communicate those numbers to the healthcare team. Another member of the healthcare team can check the readings and provide feedback and encouragement as well as make medication adjustments or schedule follow up medical appointments.

There is strong evidence that SMBP plus follow up care is an effective way to treat high blood pressure. Based on a system review effective SMBP interventions:

  • Deliver the intervention through trained health care providers (e.g. pharmacists, nurses, physician assistants, health educators)
  • Include regular patient communication of readings to providers
  • Establish a patient/provider “feedback loop” in which provider support and advice arer customized based on patients’ reported information
  • Make real time adjustment of medications

You can find more information on implementing effective programs with the  Million Hearts Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring Guide.