Bringing Consistency and Standardization to
Blood Pressure Measurement

By Kylie Gilberg, Marketing Manager


Of all the vital signs, blood pressure (BP) measurement has perhaps the strongest connection to point of care diagnosis, patient risk stratification and medication dosing. Consistent BP measurement is important in properly diagnosing and treating hypertension, in addition to treating patients with diabetes and renal disease.


Unfortunately, in today’s increasingly demanding healthcare environment the vital signs acquisition process can be overlooked and undervalued. Often, vital signs measurements such as BP are taken inconsistently, risking inaccurate results.


Providers and patients are very familiar with BP measurement and know it as something that is done at the beginning of every doctor’s visit; many people even take their own BP measurement at home. “Everyone” knows how it is done…but do they really do it in a proper, consistent way?


Consider the act of driving a car. We are all taught the optimal hand position is at 10 and 2. And most of us do that for the first few months. But as we become more comfortable and experienced with driving, our hands begin to move and we develop our own way to hold the steering wheel. It doesn’t mean we are bad drivers, it just means that we are no longer doing it the way we were taught.


Similar complacency, bad habits and inconsistency can creep into the BP measurement process, potentially impacting accuracy of the measurement. This is why Midmark introduced IQvitals Zone, the only wireless vital signs monitor that auto-connects through Bluetooth technology with a computer using zero clicks and transfers data directly into the EMR, eliminating manual transcription errors.


In an effort to further increase consistent blood pressure acquisition, Midmark has updated the device to now include a Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) BP Protocol. This systolic BP measurement protocol, based on the SPRINT trial conducted in 2015, is designed to obtain accurate BP readings through proper patient positioning and minimize interruptions that could impact a patient’s BP measurements.


Midmark is the first company to implement a SPRINT protocol with patient positioning guidelines in a vital signs acquisition device. The protocol is the next step in helping caregivers standardize more accurate and consistent BP measurements at the point of care. When the SPRINT BP Protocol was compared to routine BP measurements conducted in clinical settings, averaged BP readings using the protocol were significantly lower than BP readings from routinely peformed measurement.


The SPRINT BP Protocol features embedded positioning guidelines to help ensure proper patient preparation and easier adoption of patient positioning guidelines. The guidelines are displayed in a checklist format to help ensure accurate and repeatable BP capture every time. Three BP measurements can be automatically captured, with an average BP reading provided when complete. Healthcare providers can even leave the exam room during the measurement process, reducing the chance of white coat hypertension.


Using IQvitals Zone with the SPRINT BP Protocol can make it easier for caregivers to take the necessary steps to ensure consistency remains an important part of the BP measurement process to improve outcomes and maintain the quality of care delivered.