Nearly 1 in 2 adults have high blood pressure (called hypertension), and in many cases, do not realize this chronic disease is not under enough control. High blood pressure has no obvious symptoms and has become known as the 'silent killer' because, quietly, through micro-damage to the cardiovascular system, it contributes to serious illness and even death.
Prevention of hypertension is possible, but once developed, it must be monitored and treated. High Country Community Health has implemented a Self-Measured Blood Pressure (SMBP) program intending to support our community and tackle high rates of uncontrolled hypertension.
Our patient-centered SMBP program helps Patients...
(1.) Learn to perform a SMBP test properly
(2.) Learn how to gather this vital health information themselves
(3.) Get the appropriate response to blood pressure results outside of the ideal target range.
How can this benefit you?
Self-Measured Blood Pressure tests are typically done outside of the medical environment, so by learning how to do the test correctly yourself, you can measure and log your results more frequently and do it from the comfort of your own home.
A SMBP log gives your medical provider a clear and more accurate picture of your blood pressure-- this allows them to confidently provide treatment options tailored specifically to you and your needs. It is especially helpful if you have a new diagnosis of hypertension, over- or under-treated hypertension, have new symptoms, are working on lifestyle changes, or have significant white coat effect.
Even if your hypertension is well-controlled at the moment, the nature of the disease requires ongoing monitoring.
What you will need...
The only items needed to start SMBP are:
(1.) A monitor with a properly fitting cuff
(2.) A blood pressure chart/log or just a plain sheet of paper
(3.) 2-3 minutes!
If you do not have a monitor, talk to your High Country Community Health provider about borrowing one. Our team also maintains a BP station in Boone, Monday-Thursday, in our dental clinic waiting room, located at108 Doctors Drive, Boone, NC 28607.
Links to help you get started:
Click here for recommended home devices Validate BP website
Click here for how to sit for BP measurement Positioning Guide
How often should you measure your BP?
A common recommendation is that SMBP be performed as follows: 2 measurements taken 1 minute apart in the morning and evening (i.e. 4 readings per day) optimally for 7 days, or a minimum of 3 days
If you have any questions or would like High Country Community Health’s SMBP program team to support YOU, please call and ask for our “BP nurse.”
Our SMBP Program is a team effort between our Hypertension Nurse Care Coordinator, Remote Patient Monitoring Team, your medical assistants and providers, interpreters, and even the American Heart Association’s HeartCorps internship program.
Cheers to good health!
HeartCorps Service Member
Liz Campbell, RN
Hypertension Nurse Care Coordinator