Today NPS MedicineWise launches its latest program—Blood pressure: what’s changing in how we measure, manage and monitor—providing health professionals with resources and tools to help optimise blood pressure assessment and management, and improve cardiovascular health outcomes in Australia.
Recognising the multifactorial nature of cardiovascular disease, clinical guidelines for primary CVD prevention are moving away from assessing and managing individual risk factors such as elevated blood pressure in isolation from each other, and are instead advocating an absolute risk approach, says NPS MedicineWise.
“The focus of this new program is achieving good practice in blood pressure measurement and management integrated with the absolute risk approach and consideration of lifestyle issues,” says Dr Andrew Boyden, NPS MedicineWise Clinical Adviser.
“It also emphasises quality use of blood pressure lowering medicines to improve cardiovascular health.”
Keeping up-to-date with the increasing number of blood pressure medications coming on to the market presents a challenge for general practitioners and other health professionals.
“The number of blood pressure lowering medicines on the market, including a large range of combination products is increasing every year,” says Dr Boyden.
“This can be confusing and make it difficult to keep on top of medicine choices so the latest program aims to help health professionals navigate this complexity.”
Another aspect to the program updates health professionals on the utility of obtaining out-of-clinic blood pressure measurements, including home-based and 24-hour ambulatory monitoring methodologies to support the achievement of good blood pressure measurements and control.
The program outlines a systematic approach to blood pressure measurement, management and monitoring and provides information on:
- Using an absolute CVD risk approach in adult patients aged 45 years and over and 35 years and over for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults to guide management.
- The role of healthy lifestyle.
- Commencement and ongoing use of BP lowering medicines—starting with a single active ingredient medication for primary prevention.
- Recognising the value of out-of-clinic assessment (using either 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring or home BP monitoring).
Participating in this program will help health professionals consolidate knowledge on blood pressure, current guidelines and practices and earn continuing professional development (CPD) points.
To encourage adherence to medicine regimens, the NPS MedicineWise MedicineList+ smartphone app enables patients to track their medicines. Functions include setting alarms for medicine doses, maintaining an up-to-date list of medicines and the option to link to a preferred pharmacy dispensing system