Development and implementation of blood pressure screening and referral guidelines for German community pharmacists.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of clinical hypertension (Greenwich, Conn.), 2020, 22, (10), pp. 1807-1816
Issue Date:
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Involvement of community pharmacists in the detection and control of hypertension improves patient care. However, current European or North-American guidelines do not provide specific guidance how to implement collaboration between pharmacists and physicians, especially when and how to refer patients with undetected or uncontrolled hypertension to a physician. The German Society of Cardiology and the ABDA - Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists developed and tested referral recommendations for community pharmacists, embedded in two guideline worksheets. The project included a guideline-directed blood pressure (BP) measurement and recommendations when patients should be referred to their physician. A "red flag" referral within 4 weeks was recommended when SBP was >140 mm Hg or DBP >90 mm Hg (for subjects <80 years), and >160 mm Hg or >90 mm Hg (≥80 years) in undetected individuals, or >130 mm Hg or >80 mm Hg (<65 years) and >140 mm Hg or >80 mm Hg (≥65 years) in treated patients. BP was measured in 187 individuals (86 with known hypertension, mean [±SD] age 62 ± 15 years, 64% female, and 101 without known hypertension, 47 ± 16 years, 75% female) from 17 community pharmacies. In patients with hypertension, poorly controlled BP was detected in 55% (n = 47) and were referred. A total of 16/101 subjects without a history of hypertension were referred to their physician because of uncontrolled BP. Structured BP testing in pharmacies identified a significant number of subjects with undetected/undiagnosed hypertension and patients with poorly controlled BP. Community pharmacists could play a significant role in collaboration with physicians to improve the management of hypertension.
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