Diagnosis, Treatment, and Referral of Hypertension or Prehypertension in an Emergency Department After an Educational Program: Preliminary Results
Emergency Service, Hospital
Referral and Consultation
The authors prospectively audited 602 randomly selected charts of patients seen in an academic emergency department (ED) for prevalence of hypertension and its management after an educational program (EP) because of results found in auditing 500 charts before the EP. Blood pressure was not measured in 11 of 500 patients (2.2%) before the EP and in 1 of 602 patients (0.2%) after the EP (P < .005). Hypertension was treated in the ED in 14 of 187 patients (8%) before the EP and in 29 of 282 patients (10%) after the EP (P = not significant). Of 187 patients with hypertension before the EP, 99 (53%) were referred to a physician or clinic for follow-up of hypertension, and 281 of 282 patients (99.6%) with hypertension were referred to a physician or clinic for follow-up of hypertension after the EP (P < .001). These data show that an EP administered to the staff of an academic ED significantly increased measurement of blood pressure in the ED, significantly increased obtaining a history of hypertension and of its treatment in ED patients, and significantly increased referral of patients with hypertension to a physician or clinic for follow-up of hypertension.