- People with high blood pressure are more likely to get it under control if they record blood pressure readings at home and share the data with their healthcare provider.
- At-home monitoring gives providers a better sense of patients’ true blood pressure readings, leading to more customized treatment and better hypertension control.
- Combining at-home readings with traditional provider care saves money by reducing medications and doctor and emergency department visits.
Embargoed until 1:30 p.m. CT / 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018
(NewMediaWire) - September 08, 2018 - CHICAGO - Home blood pressure monitoring improved hypertension control and saved medical costs, according to results of a pilot initiative presented at the American Heart Association's Joint Hypertension 2018 Scientific Sessions.
American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines stress the importance of home blood pressure monitoring for optimal high blood pressure management.
However, according to Roy R. Champion, M.Sc., B.S.N., clinical quality R.N. at Scott and White Health Plan, Temple, Texas, 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 documentations 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.
By their 3rd office visit, nearly 67 percent of patients had their blood pressure controlled.
Nearly 60 percent of patients had blood pressure control by their sixth visit.
Champion attributed the decline from the third to sixth visit to providers’ adjusting blood pressure medications based on information from home blood pressure monitoring. Patients only had to see their doctors a few times to settle on the ideal medication amount, he said.
At the end of the intervention, systolic blood pressures had decreased an average 16.9 mmHg and diastolic blood pressures fell an average 6.5 mmHg.
In the six months after the intervention, nearly 80 percent of the participants achieved blood pressure under control using the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) 2018 standards.
Using the 2017 AHA/ACC guidelines, 72 percent achieved hypertension control.
“Even with the more stringent guidelines, we showed home blood pressure monitoring is vital to achieving control among hypertensive patients,” Champion said.
Each kit, including the monitor, cost an average $38.50; yet, the cost savings from the intervention were substantial. The intervention reduced needed office visits by 1.2 office visits per participant per year and significantly reduced emergency department and medication costs.
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 said.
Co-authors are Zachary Rice, M.P.P, and Emran Rouf, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.P. Author disclosures are on the abstract. An American Heart Association grant funded this study.
- Photo and b-roll of home blood pressure monitoring available on the right column of this release https://newsroom.heart.org/news/monitoring-at-home-yields-better-blood-pressure-control?preview=38bb01c8cf0f44287fdcd01327abae7f
- For high blood pressure tools and information visit heart.org/hbp.
- For the latest heart and stroke news, follow us on Twitter @HeartNews #Hypertension18.
Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The Association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The Association receives funding primarily from individuals. Foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The Association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at https://www.heart.org/en/about-us/aha-financial-information.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
For Media Inquiries: 214-706-1173