Self-Measured BP Monitoring at Home 'More Important Than Eve
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Self-measured blood pressure (SMBP) monitoring at home is a validated approach to measure out-of-office BP that has the potential to improve the detection and control of hypertension, according to a joint policy statement from the AHA and AMA.

With fewer patients visiting medical offices during the COVID-19 pandemic, SMBP monitoring is more important than ever for people at risk for hypertension and uncontrolled BP.

Use Validated Devices:
Devices that are validated for clinical accuracy should be used for SMBP monitoring, the writing group advises. Validated devices that use the oscillometric method are preferred, and a standardized BP measurement (with appropriately sized cuffs) and monitoring protocol should be followed.

The group notes that meta-analyses of randomized trials indicate that SMBP monitoring is associated with a reduction in BP and improved BP control, and the benefits are greatest when used along with other interventions, such as education and counseling that can be delivered via phone or telehealth visits by nurses and care coordinators.

However, that transitioning from solely office-based BP management to a strategy that includes SMBP monitoring is not without actual and potential barriers.

The group recommends addressing these barriers by:

-- Educating patients and providers about the benefits of SMBP monitoring and the optimal approaches for SMBP monitoring
-- Establishing clinical core competency criteria to ensure high-quality SMBP monitoring is supported in clinical practice
-- Incorporating cointerventions that increase the effectiveness of SMBP monitoring, including behavioral change management and counseling, communication of treatment recommendations back to patients, medication management, and prescription and adherence monitoring
-- Creating systems for SMBP readings to be transferred from devices to electronic health records
-- Improving public and private health insurance coverage of validated SMBP monitoring devices prescribed by a healthcare provider.

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