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J Prim Care Community Health. 2018 Jan-Dec;9:2150132718816929. doi: 10.1177/2150132718816929.

Barriers to Accurate Blood Pressure Measurement in the Medical Office.

Author information

1
1 UTHealth McGovern Medical School, Houston, TX, USA.
2
2 University of Texas at Houston-Memorial Hermann Center for Healthcare Quality and Safety, Houston, TX, USA.
3
3 UTHealth Cizik School of Nursing, Houston, TX, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite the high prevalence of blood pressure (BP) measurement errors in the outpatient setting, little is known about why primary care clinics struggle to achieve consistently accurate BP measurements in routine practice. We investigated barriers affecting measurement of BP for adult patients in primary care.

METHODS:

We conducted a qualitative evaluation in 6 adult primary care clinics. BP measurement was observed during 54 routine patient encounters. Six managers completed semistructured interviews and 18 clinical staff members participated in focus group discussions. We used an inductive, data-driven approach to identify and organize findings into cohesive, overarching themes describing factors affecting BP measurement.

RESULTS:

Observed errors in BP measurement spanned the entire spectrum of steps required to obtain BP properly. Barriers to proper BP measurement were related to staff knowledge and behavior (inadequate knowledge, training, and feedback); workflow constraints (need to multitask, inadequate time); and equipment issues (BP monitors, seating). Patient characteristics and behavior also affected BP measurement.

CONCLUSIONS:

Correct measurement of BP is affected by a wide range of factors and is challenging to accomplish consistently in primary care. These findings may inform the design of performance improvement programs to maximize the quality of BP measurement in the outpatient setting.

KEYWORDS:

barriers; blood pressure; hypertension; measurement; office; qualitative

PMID:
30764705
PMCID:
PMC6287289
DOI:
10.1177/2150132718816929
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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