Online pharmacist care helps hypertensives sustain lower BP

Web-based pharmacist care is an effective method for helping hypertensive patients to sustain low blood pressure, according to research published online this week in JAMA Internal Medicine.

For the study, 618 total patients used a website boasting a patient-shared electronic health record and secure e-mail for one year. The patients were divided at random into groups receiving usual care; home BP monitoring and website training; and home BP monitoring, website training and additional pharmacist care on the website.

While patients in all three groups recorded lower blood pressure measurements, those in the latter group experienced a "significant" drop in BP, as well as improved BP control six to 18 months after the program concluded, according to the researchers.

"Meta-analyses provide strong evidence that blood pressure control improves with 'team-based' hypertension care provided by a health professional such as a pharmacist or nurse, separate from physician care," the researchers wrote. "Few studies have analyzed whether team care leads to sustained BP reductions after the end of an intervention."

Research published in March in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes found that home BP monitoring led by pharmacists helped hypertensive patients to lower their blood pressure. Nearly 350 patients with blood pressure above the recommended levels participated, and although there were no "statistically significant differences in baseline characteristics" between the tested groups, the home monitoring group was significantly closer to reaching their BP goal than a usual care group after six months.

What's more, research unveiled one year ago at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions determined that patients who received telemonitoring help and regular follow-up support from a pharmacist were more likely to have lowered their blood pressure than patients receiving traditional care.

To learn more:
- here's the JAMA Internal Medicine abstract

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