Measuring and Managing Blood Pressure in a Primary Care Setting: A Pragmatic Implementation Study

J Am Board Fam Med. 2018 May-Jun;31(3):375-388. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2018.03.170450.


Background: Accurate blood pressure (BP) measurement is essential to hypertension diagnosis and management. Automated office blood pressure (AOBP) and home blood pressure measurement (HBPM) may improve assessment, but barriers exist in primary care settings.

Methods: We implemented an AOBP/HBPM program in a primary care clinic in 2015 to 2016. Patients with elevated BP determined by guideline-quality observed BP measurement and/or AOBP entered the HBPM program. Patients with average home BP ≥ 135/85 mm Hg provided HBPM results for medication adjustment. Clinic staff and patients completed satisfaction questionnaires.

Results: Initial HBPM results in 183 patients with elevated office BP revealed white-coat BP elevation in 35% of untreated patients and in 37% of treated patients. The prevalence of white-coat BP elevation was similar whether enrollment BP was by observed BP or AOBP. Subsequent HBPM facilitated BP control in 49% of patients with elevated home BP. Most providers, staff, and patients endorsed the utility of the program. Barriers to implementation included a temporary period of incorrect AOBP technique, patients failing to provide HBPM results, and incorrect HBPM technique.

Discussion: Our clinic-based AOBP/HBPM program detected white-coat BP elevation in one third of enrolled patients, facilitated control of home BP, and was acceptable to staff and patients. We identified barriers to be addressed to ensure sustainability.

Keywords: Blood Pressure; Hypertension; Implementation Science; Personal Satisfaction; Primary Health Care; Surveys and Questionnaires.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure Determination / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • Implementation Science
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Participation / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / statistics & numerical data
  • Utah


  • Antihypertensive Agents