Although it seems simple, proper technique for getting an accurate blood pressure reading is often overlooked. Common practices such as measuring over a shirt sleeve or while the client is talking or has legs crossed can lead to inaccurate blood pressure readings. Accurate measurement of blood pressure is important because small inaccuracies caused by using incorrect measurement techniques can lead to underdiagnosing and inadequate treatment of hypertension, or over- diagnosing and exposing clients to unnecessary stress, medications, and expenses.
This short video and accompanying knowledge check and observation checklist can be used to ensure clinical staff who measure blood pressure have the knowledge and skills to accurately measure a client’s blood pressure. Frequent reminders and skills checks for all staff and providers who measure blood pressure are recommended.
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Hypertension Prevention and Control Improvement Toolkit