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Docs Making Changes to Improve Blood Pressure Control

Standardizing measurement principles allows for more accurate measurement of blood pressure

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians have been discussing how minor, easy changes in the way they measure blood pressure have had a positive impact on hypertension control, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

Noting that minor issues such as talking, having a full bladder, and feet not being flat on the floor can all impact blood pressure measurement, the AMA's Improving Health Outcomes initiative is helping physicians and practice staff to include these standardized principles into their practice workflow. The principles of safe design have been implemented in the ambulatory setting in a pilot program introduced in Maryland and Illinois.

According to the report, there have been positive changes for physicians who made these minor changes to measurements. A family physician from Wisconsin standardized measurement principles and implemented some changes, improving patients' blood pressure measurements. She shared this information, prompting a conversation with physicians from across the country. In addition to accurate measurements, practices are acting rapidly to help bring blood pressure under control with changes to patients' care plans, ensuring follow-up interaction, and using evidence-based protocols to guide medication selection. Community resources are being employed to help patients get blood pressure devices and direct patients to local programs that can measure their blood pressure and provide feedback to physicians.

"Physicians in the pilot program are having success controlling blood pressure without adding to their practice's workflow burden," according to the report.

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