Proper training and education is key to ensuring accurate results as Kelly Haug, RN, Community Home Health, Onaga, KS, witnessed firsthand when abstracting data for the Home Health Cardiovascular Data Registry (HHCDR). Haug noticed missing and abnormal blood pressure readings and conducted an on-site inspection of the staff’s blood pressure protocols. During this inspection, it became apparent to Haug that the physical condition of the blood pressure cuff and the velcro on the cuff being used, was causing the inaccurate readings.
On May 31, 2018, Great Plains QIN hosted a Blood Pressure Protocol Training. Pat Spier, RN-BC, PCMH-CCE, and Barb Rice, RN-BC, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, addressed the importance of accuracy in blood pressure measurement to identify and manage hypertension. Proper use of equipment and tools for improving workflow and protocols were also shared.
Haug registered for the Great Plains Quality Improvement Network’s Blood Pressure Protocol webinar and plans to utilize the recording to conduct further training for home health staff. Haug also plans to utilize other Home Health Quality Improvement (HHQI) educational materials in future staff trainings to improve blood pressure monitoring and reading.
“Evaluation of blood pressure is essential in assessing cardiovascular health. Measuring blood pressure may seem like a normal routine, but seemingly minor issues can impact blood pressure measurement,” explained Lisa Thorp, RN, BSN, CDE, Program Manager for Great Plains Quality Innovation Network.” Thorp continued, “Taking an accurate blood pressure measurement requires the skills on the healthcare professional along with the cooperation of the individual. Sometimes the actual process of getting a blood pressure taken can cause the individual to have an elevated reading. Engaging with the individual is as important as understanding how to use and read the equipment.”
Great Plains QIN partners with providers in the home health and physician office settings, as well as patients, families and stakeholders as part of the Million Hearts® national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes. More information on the cardiac health initiative along with additional tools and education opportunities are available on the Great Plains QIN website.