Objective To assess the prevalence of elevated blood pressure (BP) and its identification among outpatients at a pediatric tertiary care hospital and to assess clinician attitudes towards BP management. Study design A retrospective review was undertaken of electronic medical record data of visits over the course of 1 year to 10 subspecialty divisions and 3 primary care services at an urban tertiary care hospital. Interviews of division/service representatives and a clinician survey on perceived role on BP care, practices, and protocols related to BP management were conducted. Elevated BP was defined as >90th percentile (using US references); identification of elevated BP was defined as the presence of appropriate codes in the problem list or visit diagnoses. Results Among 29 000 patients (ages 2-17 years), 70% (those with >1 BP measurement) were analyzed. Patients were as follows: 50% male; 42% white, 31% Hispanic, 16% black, 5% Asian, and 5% other/missing; 52% had Medicaid insurance. A total of 64% had normal BPs, 33% had 1-2 elevated BP measurements, and 3% had >3 elevated BP measurements. Among those with >3 elevated BP measurements, the median frequency of identification by division/service was 17%; the greatest identification was for Kidney Diseases (67%), Wellness & Weight Management (60%), and Cardiology (33%). Among patients with >3 elevated BP measurements, 21% were identified vs 7% identified among those with 1-2 increased measurements (P <.001). All clinician survey respondents perceived self-responsibility for identification of elevated BP, but opinions varied for their role in the management of elevated BP. Conclusions The identification of patients with elevated BP measurements was low. Strategies to increase the identification of elevated BPs in outpatient tertiary care settings are needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health