Leveraging Remote Patient Monitoring to Diagnose & Reduce Hypertension Caused By White Coat Syndrome

News | January 17th, 2023

What Is White Coat Hypertension?

Studies suggest that about one in five adults may have white coat hypertension, which occurs when a patient’s blood pressure readings at a doctor's office is higher than it is in other settings (i.e., the home). Compared with people whose blood pressure was normal both at the doctor's office and at home, people with untreated white-coat hypertension had a 36% higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and other heart-related events. Patients with white coat syndrome have also been shown to be more prone to higher levels of emotional and situational anxiety - which is what leads to the higher blood pressure.

How Remote Patient Monitoring Aids in Diagnosing White Coat Hypertension

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) has become an important addition to care delivery - especially for patients with chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension and other cardiometabolic conditions. With the increased use of RPM, particularly remote blood pressure monitoring, clinicians can identify whether a patient's high blood pressure at the doctor's office persists at home, too, or if it may be high because of the situation. For some, the stress of a medical appointment can cause a temporary rise in blood pressure.

For this reason, measuring blood pressure at home has been proven to be a stronger predictor of cardiovascular deaths than readings at the doctor. Identifying white coat hypertension through RPM can lead to more accurate diagnoses, better medication management, and improved mental health protocols.

This approach is being used by our customer, Green River Medical Center, who recently integrated our RPM capabilities to more easily monitor and care for their patients. Since the center primarily serves an older population in a very rural part of Utah, with the closest city and hospital about an hour away, it’s essential to ensure their patients get the care they need – regardless of location.

One way GRMC identifies patients to participate RPM is by looking at their most recent in-person readings. If a patient had blood pressure over 130/80 or 140/90 at two visits, the center offers them a blood pressure monitor to use at home for two weeks. At the end of that time, they return for a follow-up visit. If there are no hypertensive blood pressure measures, patients are then identified as having white-coat hypertension, in which the next step is to discuss lifestyle adjustments that could be made to help manage stress – both inside and outside of a doctor’s visit. This also allows staff to better determine whether there needs to be a medication change or diagnostic evaluation, which ultimately boosts outcomes for individuals.

GRMC’s findings underscore the importance of identifying what type of hypertension a patient has by monitoring them in between clinic visits.

Rimidi’s Approach to Chronic Diseases through RPM

RPM is a central tool that arms providers with critical insights, and ensures that providing appropriate care, whether it’s for sustained hypertension or the effects of white coat hypertension. It’s up to us to leverage all the tools in our toolbox to make this happen.

Rimidi’s Cardiovascular Disease module helps clinicians better manage patients with hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. By combining relevant clinical data from the EHR like diagnoses, latest laboratory results, and screenings with remotely-generated data from connected blood pressure cuffs, Rimidi presents a more holistic picture of a patient’s risk level and health to providers. Further, Rimidi provides in-workflow, patient-specific clinical decision support cards based on current guidelines.

Request a demo today to learn how Rimidi can help your organization better manage patients with hypertension–whether sustained or white coat–and other related chronic conditions.

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