Funding from the 2019 Renal Staff Microgrant Program will extend a program that provides education and digital home blood pressure monitors for low income patients in the Nephrology Clinic.
The blood pressure monitoring program, originally funded in 2015, provides portable monitors to allow patients to take their blood pressure at home, and then call in their readings into the clinic. Adjustments to their medications can be made over the phone, saving the patient a trip to the clinic.
Team members of the Blood Pressure Managing Program include:
Fabrienne (Fae) Harper, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse Coordinator, Renal Outpatient office. Harper believes that monitoring blood pressures plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy life for her patients. “Blood pressure monitoring is a key component in living a productive, long life,” she says.
Barbara Schmaltz, BSN, RN, Nurse Manager for the Renal Outpatient office. Schmaltz says, “This is a tremendous program that removes an economic barrier for our patients and allows us to see trends in blood pressures versus an isolated reading in our office.”
Jane Stromberg, MSW, social worker, Division of Nephrology. “This program has allowed patients with limited resources be able own a blood pressure monitor,” says Stromberg. “I have seen patients take ownership in their own treatment plan and become more involved. This tool assists in educating patients on hypertension management and kidney health.”
Will Ross, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology. Ross, the senior faculty advisor of the program, says that this is an “outstanding program which assists with continuity of care and promotes patient self-management.”
In the past year, the program provided education and monitors for 39 patients. The grant also provides medication planners, if needed. Many patients have complicated medication regimens, and pill planners help simplify medication management for the patients, family members and caregivers.
Faculty and staff support for program has been overwhelmingly positive. Staff members report an increase in communication between patient and staff during the interval prior to the next clinic appointment. All nephrology physicians have referred one or more patients for participation in the program.
Many patients have reported significant improvement in their blood pressure control.