As health systems struggle to standardize care, blood pressure (BP) inaccuracy is one of the biggest areas of concern. Of the vital signs captured during a typical patient visit, BP measurement is one of the most important tests. In order to properly diagnose and treat hypertension (a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, stroke and renal failure), caregivers need consistently accurate BP measurements. It’s also important to detect small differences in BP—minor differences can have a major impact on measurement accuracy and patient health.
Unfortunately, many healthcare providers still may not be following American Heart Association recommendations for more accurate, repeatable BP measurement.1 If this isn't addressed, it leaves health systems at serious risk. 30 million Americans are at risk by overestimating true BP by 5 mmHg, leading to inappropriate treatment and unnecessary cost.2 Multiply the cost of treatment for hypertension by the typical patient panel size and the cost of overtreatment could be as much as $135,000 per each practicing physician.3 The impact of overmedication can also result in complications such as dizziness, fainting, exhaustion or even patient falls.
Healthcare professionals largely realize the importance of BP capture, the effects it can have on diagnosis and the impact to patients. What they may not realize is how much patient positioning can affect the consistency and accuracy of BP measurements. Something as simple as the patient’s feet not resting flat on the floor can increase the BP measurement by 5 to 15 mmHg.4
The good news is emerging technologies and equipment have been designed to help ensure clinical standards for BP capture can be easily followed across health systems. Midmark has developed a suite of products that are designed to function as a fully integrated, point of care ecosystem to assist health systems with standardization and promotion of proper BP capture through improved patient positioning and EMR connectivity.
Midmark 626 Barrier-Free® Examination Chair with Digital Scale
The height-adjustable exam chair with a barrier-free low chair height of 15.5 inches (uncompressed) allows the majority of patients, even females with heights in the 3rd percentile, to place their feet flat on the floor.5 Powered movement of the back section helps ensure the patient’s back is supported.
Patient Support Rails+
Easily support the patient’s arm with cuff at heart height using this exclusive chair accessory when taking BP measurements.
Midmark IQvitals® Zone™
The SPRINT BP Protocol allows the technician to leave the room so the patient is undisturbed to help reduce white coat hypertension. Once the preset delay start timer expires, IQvitals Zone automatically captures three BP measurements and produces the average reading. All vital signs data as well as weight can be transferred directly into the EMR, eliminating the need for manual transcription and the risk of transcription errors.