31 May, 2015    #46

Accuracy vs. Accuracy

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The accuracy of clinical laboratory results, such as Glucose and Red Blood Cell counts, are continually verified by a comprehensive Quality Control (QC) program.  Labs periodically analyze “reference samples” containing known concentration of analytes, such as Glucose and RBCs, to verify the accuracy of patient results.  Unfortunately, the accuracy of Home Blood Pressure (BP) results are not verified by a “pressure reference” or a comprehensive QC program. 


Home BP accuracy is associated with the following two entities:


►   BP Monitoring Device

►   BP Measurement Techniques


BP Monitor Accuracy:

Most BP Monitors are highly complex medical devices that have been tested and verified as accurate and precise by the manufacturer.  Also, government regulatory agencies like the FDA and Public Health Departments often verify device testing protocols & data before permitting marketing efforts to patients as safe and effective medical devices.


Many BP Monitors incorporate software algorithms that flag unusual cardiac events such as arrhythmia and out-of-range results.  When these events occur, BP results are not displayed and replaced with “ERROR” text.  However, other probable incorrect BP results due to smoking, eating or not properly resting before a BP measurement are allowed to be displayed and recorded for medical use.  Thus, without a pressure reference, QC of BP Monitor function is minimal, at best.


Some BP Monitor manufacturers allow device testing by an independent agency using a standardized protocol approved for validating monitor performance.  Please visit the link below to see if your BP Monitor has been independently tested and validated as safe and effective.





BP Measurement Techniques:

Since BP is a reactive pressure that can instantly increase, but slowly decrease, proper BP measurement techniques MUST ALWAYS be used in order to obtain accurate results!  Hypertension and High BP are diagnosed using Resting BP Procedures (RBPP) which allow your BP to slowly decrease to a low or baseline value.  RBPP results are stabilized, permitting you and your MD to compare BP results across treatments or time.  Please tap the Library Button above and read Article #2: “Don’t Forget to Rest” for specific RBPP information.




Even if your BP Monitor is Accurate and Precise, if you fail to use RBPP, your monitor will accurately report incorrect results!  One last comment:  Please change your monitor batteries as recommended by your monitor manual.


Don’t Forget to Rest for Accuracy!




Mike Kohut, President, DDMS




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