Postpartum women manage high blood pressure with home monitoring

Remote blood pressure monitoring is an effective tool for managing hypertension in postpartum women at home after hospital discharge.

That’s the finding of a new study, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Magee-Womens Research Institute.

“We’re meeting women where they are instead of saying they have to come to the hospital for all these blood pressure checks when they have a new baby,” says Alisse Hauspurg, MD, lead author and assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Pitt.

As part of the home monitoring program developed by researchers, hypertensive women discharged from a postpartum unit were provided with an automatic blood pressure cuff and instructions on how to take their own readings using the equipment.

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“We demonstrate high compliance, retention, and patient satisfaction with the program,” conclude the authors of the study, which reports results on the first 409 enrolled patients. “This is a feasible, scalable remote monitoring program connected to the electronic medical record.”

Patients in the study were prompted by a computerized system integrated with their electronic health records to take their own blood pressure and heart rate readings once a day for five days—and, then, to text the results to a nurse.

“After identification by an obstetric care provider, women are enrolled into the program, which is automatically indicated in the electronic medical record,” state the authors. “Maternal, obstetric and sociodemographic data were obtained from the electronic medical record.”

“One of the big advantages here is scalability,” adds senior author Hyagriv Simhan, MD, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Pitt, and executive vice chair of obstetrical services UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital. “Connecting women in their ‘fourth trimester’ to online care allows us to engage a larger number of patients over a larger geography with the infrastructure and workforce we already have.”

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