Here’s why you should monitor blood pressure at home

Washington: Turns out, home blood pressure monitoring can improve hypertension control and save medical costs.

American Heart Association guidelines stress the importance of home blood pressure monitoring for optimal high blood pressure management.

However, according to M.Sc., B.S.N, Roy R. Champion, home blood pressure monitoring isn’t a common part of most treatment plans.

Based on trends noted during medical record reviews, Champion said less than one in five providers were including home blood pressure monitoring in the documentation for hypertension patients.

“Meanwhile, in the charts that did use home blood pressure monitoring, approximately 86 percent of those patients had their hypertension under control,” Champion said.

Home monitoring combined with doctor visits to measure a patient’s blood pressure helps to avoid numbers skewed by “white-coat hypertension,” when blood pressure is high in a medical setting but not in everyday life, and “masked hypertension,” when blood pressure is normal in a medical setting but high at home.

Champion studied the impact of an intervention that provided free home blood pressure monitors, online and print resources for tracking their readings, and monitoring reminders to 2,550 adult patients with persistent uncontrolled high blood pressure.

In each case, the patient’s provider would know the patient received a free at-home blood pressure monitor and resources for how to use it.

“Home monitoring helps providers better understand patients’ everyday blood pressure numbers in a cost-saving way that doesn’t increase the burden on patients or providers,” Champion added.

The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Joint Hypertension 2018 Scientific Sessions in Chicago.