The BMJ Awards 2020: Digital innovationBMJ 2020; 369 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1215 (Published 02 April 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1215
- Matthew Limb, freelance journalist
- London, UK
Scale-up BP Team—NHS Lothian
Simplified blood pressure checks lauded by patients and GPs
High blood pressure is the biggest remedial cause of stroke or myocardial infarction. Around 12 million attendances at general practitioner surgeries each year are for blood pressure checks.
Checks done at home by patients are more accurate than those done in the surgery, but self monitoring alone does not save GP or nurse time as patients like the reassurance that doctors have reviewed the results.
“Telemonitoring, where people measure and send BPs [blood pressures] to their clinician, has been shown to reduce blood pressure significantly,” says Brian Mckinstry, professor (emeritus) of primary care eHealth at the University of Edinburgh.
“But GPs/nurses have not adopted it as it usually involved complex log-ons to third party websites and was not integrated with normal practice routines.”
Scale-Up BP automatically extracts and summarises tabular and graphical data from third party telemonitoring sites, indicating clearly if blood pressure is controlled, and sends it as a PDF to Docman, the GP’s normal data handling system to be viewed alongside laboratory results and letters.
“Patients love it as they do not have to attend surgeries and feel involved in their management. GPs like the simplicity of the system,” says Mckinstry.
Around 4000 patients and 70 practices in Lothian are using the system, which has now been adopted across Scotland. Blood pressure has fallen significantly (6.6 mmHg) in those who use it compared with non-users, and face-to-face appointments have fallen by 20%.
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