Proper Patient Positioning

You may not realize how much patient positioning during BP capture can impact the accuracy of BP measurements. Many healthcare providers have admitted to not following American Medical Association (AMA) recommendations for more accurate BP measurement.2

That’s why we designed the Midmark 626 Barrier-Free® Examination Chair with Patient Support Rails+ to promote AMA-recommended patient positioning for BP capture.2  The barrier-free low chair height allows most patients to place their feet flat on the floor while the accessory rails support the arm at heart height.

Hover over the blue dots to see how patient positioning can affect blood pressure measurements.

 

Medical assistant placing BP cuff on patients arm
Medical assistant placing BP cuff on patients arm

















no-talking

Cuff Placed on
Bare Arm

The upper arm should be bare. Any clothing covering the cuff location should be removed. Placing the cuff over clothing can add 5 to 50 mmHg. Clothing covering the cuff location should not be rolled so as to not have a tourniquet affect above the
BP cuff.

no-talking
no-talking

Arm Supported at
Heart Height

The patient’s arm should be supported at heart level (the middle of the cuff on the upper arm should be at the level of the right atrium). An unsupported arm can add 6 to 10 mmHg to the measurement. If the arm is above heart level, the reading can be too low (-2 mmHg per inch). If the arm is below heart level, the reading can be too high (+2 mmHg per inch).

no-talking

Back Supported

The patient should be seated comfortably with the back supported. If the patient’s back is not properly supported, the measurement can be 5 to 15 mmHg too high.

no-talking

Legs Uncrossed

The patient should be seated comfortably with legs uncrossed. If the patient’s legs are crossed, the measurement can increase by 2 to 8 mmHg.

no-talking

Feet Flat on
the Floor

The patient should be seated comfortably with feet flat on the floor. If the patient’s feet are not flat on the floor, the measurement can increase 5 to 15 mmHg.

No Talking

Neither the patient nor the person taking the measurement should talk during the procedure. The patient talking or active listening can increase the measurement by 10 to 15 mmHg.

 

Cuff Placed on Bare Arm

The upper arm should be bare. Any clothing covering the cuff location should be removed. Placing the cuff over clothing can add 5 to 50 mmHg. Clothing covering the cuff location should not be rolled so as to not have a tourniquet affect above the BP cuff.  

 

Arm Supported at Heart Height

The patient’s arm should be supported at heart level (the middle of the cuff on the upper arm should be at the level of the right atrium). An unsupported arm can add 6 to 10 mmHg to the measurement. If the arm is above heart level, the reading can be too low (-2 mmHg per inch). If the arm is below heart level, the reading can be too high (+2 mmHg per inch).

 

Back Supported

The patient should be seated comfortably with the back supported. If the patient’s back is not properly supported, the measurement can be 5 to 15 mmHg too high.

 

Legs Uncrossed

The patient should be seated comfortably with legs uncrossed. If the patient’s legs are crossed, the measurement can increase by 2 to 8 mmHg.

 

Feet Flat on the Floor

The patient should be seated comfortably with feet flat on the floor. If the patient’s feet are not flat on the floor, the measurement can increase 5 to 15 mmHg.

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MA placing cuff on patients arm
MA placing cuff on patients arm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accurate, Consistent
BP Capture

Standardization across a network of sites can be challenging. If it isn't addressed, it can leave health systems at serious risk. Automating vital signs acquisition at the point of care can help ensure a higher level of standardization, consistency and data accuracy by minimizing human variables.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MA talking with patient about the recorded data
MA talking with patient about recorded data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EMR Connectivity

Seamless connectivity from the automated vital signs device to the EMR improves the vital signs acquisition workflow. Patient data can be imported directly into the EMR saving time and eliminating the likelihood of manual transcription errors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Behind the Design

Better care doesn’t happen by chance—it happens by design. Explore the research behind our designs.