High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Accurate blood pressure measurements provide useful information for monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment. Review these four reasons to have patients monitor blood pressure at home.
Overcome White Coat Hypertension
White coat hypertension, also called white coat syndrome, is when a patient has a higher BP reading in their healthcare provider’s office than in other locations, such as home. Because temporary anxiety causes a spike in blood pressure, white coat hypertension readings create an inaccurate look at patient health.
If you suspect white coat syndrome, talk to your patient about self-monitoring. Ensure patients get their BP right by demonstrating correct body positioning and how to use the monitor.
Another reason to have patients monitor blood pressure at home is to understand trends in their BP levels. Consistent monitoring can help patients and doctors understand how time of day, diet, routines, and other factors affect BP.
Knowing the patient’s BP trends can help doctors develop more comprehensive treatment plans. And patients can follow treatments better when they understand what affects their blood pressure.
Monitor Treatment Response
Regularly checking blood pressure makes it easier for doctors to monitor the efficacy of high blood pressure treatments. Healthcare professionals can use patient-provided data to inform their decisions regarding dosage adjustments, medication changes, or other changes.
Let your patient know the BP range they can expect to see and what to do if they get an abnormal reading. Regular monitoring can hasten response time to BP changes and improve healthcare outcomes.
Engage Patients in Their Care
Self-monitoring highlights the connection between a patient’s environment or activities and their BP. This knowledge can motivate patients to make changes or develop habits that improve their cardiovascular health.
When patients self-monitor their BP, they are more engaged in blood pressure management and their overall health. Tracking is a simple act that, when done routinely, can improve patient health and create a more positive mindset.