HONOLULU, Hawaii: The state of Hawaii is partnering with the health care community in order to make sure blood pressure readings are made accurately. The department says that the routine measurement is often taken incorrectly.
From the Department of Health:
The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) is implementing new initiatives to support the Million Hearts™ campaign, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention project introduced last year to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes. In partnership with healthcare organizations in the state, the DOH is launching a blood pressure program that introduces systems to improve measurement accuracy and reduce errors in everyday diagnosis and treatment. High blood pressure is one of the leading risk factors of heart disease and stroke that affects one adult in three in Hawaii.
Through support from our private sector partners, the Hawai‘i Medical Assurance Association (HMAA), University Health Alliance (UHA), AlohaCare, and Hawai‘i Medical Service Association (HMSA), blood pressure measurement training sessions will begin this week. The Hawai‘i Primary Care Association, the Hawai‘i Independent Physicians Association, and the Philippine Medical Association contributed valuable assistance with the development of the program and the recruitment of the participants.
“A doctor’s appointment usually begins with a blood pressure check,” said Health Director Loretta Fuddy. “Taking a blood pressure reading is a routine procedure, yet so critical to identifying life-threatening conditions. I’ve seen clinical studies show that a surprising number of healthcare professionals in the United States take a blood pressure incorrectly, and we wind up with unnecessary costs, inappropriate treatment and missed diagnoses,” Director Fuddy added. “This training initiative is a perfect example of where public health can step in and make changes that will benefit thousands of our residents.”
The DOH is conducting training sessions with the goal of establishing blood pressure measurement specialists and trainers throughout the healthcare system to promote the consistent use of evidence-based blood pressure guidelines. The initiative encourages regular on-going training and supports quality improvement in blood pressure measurement and treatment.
According to the American Heart Association, accurate blood pressure measurement is an exacting process that requires careful attention and periodic retraining. All types of blood pressure equipment should be regularly inspected and calibrated. The goal of the DOH and its partners is to establish a sustainable process for ensuring all healthcare professionals in Hawai‘i are well trained on taking blood pressure measurements. For more information on the training sessions, contact: Linda Green of the DOH Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention program at (808) 285-2567.