Here's the right way

Don’t just get your BP taken

Posted 1/2/18

At a 2015 American Medical Association meeting, 159 medical students were given a blood pressure check challenge with a simulated patient. Only one – one! – performed all 11 elements they’re …

Please register to continue reading …

Please log in to continue

Log in

Would you like to read more?

Register for your free account today. It’s easy and fast!

Privacy Policy: We will never share, sell, or rent your email address. Information submitted to us is only available to employees managing this information for purposes of contacting you or sending you emails.

Click here to register for your free account.

Here's the right way

Don’t just get your BP taken

Posted

At a 2015 American Medical Association meeting, 159 medical students were given a blood pressure check challenge with a simulated patient. Only one – one! – performed all 11 elements they’re trained to do. The average number of steps performed correctly was 4.1.

One of the biggest mistakes: Failing to have a patient rest for five minutes in a chair before the measurement. Only 11 of these doctors-in-training did that.

The study was published last summer in JAMA, a leading medical journal. An article about the study includes a sobering message from Raymond R. Townsend, M.D., a study co-author and director of the hypertension program at the Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania. Townsend was named the AHA’s Physician of the Year in 2016.

“I used to have a standing challenge on rounds at Penn: ‘If you can do a blood pressure correctly in my presence, I will buy you a dinner [at a] restaurant of your choice in Philadelphia,’” Townsend said. “After 10 years, not a single person – resident, fellow or student – ever could do it.”

For patients, there’s a lot more than a free meal riding on an accurate reading. So the next time you strap on a blood pressure cuff, make sure as much time and effort is invested into an accurate reading.