PharmaSmart Applauds New AHA-ACC Blood Pressure Device Guidelines

This strong policy statement is great news for hypertension patients, and for healthcare providers trying to properly diagnose and treat hypertension – the silent killer.

PharmaSmart applauds the new American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology Guideline, which states “If self-monitoring is used, it is important to ensure that the blood pressure (BP) measurement device used has been validated with an internationally accepted protocol and the results have been published in a peer-reviewed journal. (page 29)” This consensus national guideline is endorsed by 9 other national healthcare professional organizations, including the American Pharmacists Association. This device accuracy guidance follows on the heels of a 2017 CDC/AMA/APhA published Resource Guide for Pharmacists which called for the use of “only clinically-validated blood pressure kiosks”, and a 2017 APhA House of Delegates Policy Adoption stating that the APhA supports “peer-reviewed clinical validation testing”, and promotes “public awareness of accuracy of BP devices”.

Josh Sarkis, PharmaSmart Chief Strategy Officer, stated “It has been a breakthrough year for awareness of BP kiosk accuracy. The CDC, AHA, AMA, APhA, and many other leading organizations now acknowledge many BP devices have never been validated through peer-reviewed clinical testing, cannot be trusted for clinical decision-making, and should not be integrated with EMR systems.” Sarkis continued “This strong policy statement is great news for hypertension patients, and for healthcare providers trying to properly diagnose and treat hypertension – the silent killer.”

The same guideline document lowers the hypertension classification threshold from 140/90 to 130/80, meaning that overnight approximately 50 million more Americans were classified with hypertension. PharmaSmart Chief Operating Officer Ashton Maaraba added, “The new AHA/ACC guidelines will drive increased investment by government, health plans and care organizations into High BP prevention and control. Pharmacies can and should benefit from these investments, but can only do so if they invest in guideline-compliant, interoperable BP measurement solutions. Without such solutions, it will be impossible to build the trust…

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