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Purpose. The equipment and methods used for ambulatory and home monitoring of blood pressure, lipids, coagulation, and weight management are discussed.
Summary. Over 100 million people in the United States have one or more chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma. With the goal to improve health while reducing costs and the overall health care burden, ambulatory and home monitoring by pharmacists and patients are receiving more attention. Ambulatory and home monitoring of blood pressure, cholesterol, coagulation, and weight management (including devices for assessing overweight and obese patients, heart rate monitors, and pedometers) are convenient for clinicians and patients. Such monitoring provides pharmacists with an opportunity to differentiate their practices. Studies suggest that patients who are involved in ambulatory and home monitoring take a more active role in their health and may have better adherence to a prescribed diet and medication regimens. Studies also show that ambulatory and home monitoring, if done correctly, provide clinicians with a large quantity of reliable readings for future therapeutic decisions. Devices are also a means for pharmacists to increase their provision of pharmacy services. Ambulatory monitoring is billable in many clinic settings, and the devices can be a profitable addition to prescription services.
Conclusion. Many devices are available to assist patients and clinicians in monitoring blood pressure, lipids, coagulation, and weight management. Familiarity with the devices will help in their proper selection and use.
- Ambulatory care
- Blood pressure
- Home tests
- Pharmaceutical services
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