CHICAGO — The American Medical Association (AMA) today announced the recipients of its grant program aimed at ensuring more future physicians and health care professionals in the U.S. receive standardized training on how to consistently take accurate blood pressure (BP) measurements. Given the lack of a standardized curriculum on evidence-based BP measurement techniques offered at health care schools nationwide, the AMA is providing funding to five health profession schools to support training for nearly 5,000 future physicians, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and dieticians using the modules from the AMA Student BP Measurement Essentials Learning Series.

“Despite the fact that inaccurate blood pressure measurements are linked to errors in diagnosing and treating high blood pressure, and can lead to more adverse outcomes, medical and health profession students are not currently receiving consistent training in BP measurement,” said AMA President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., M.P.H. “Through this grant program, the AMA is expanding its efforts to uniformly train more medical and health profession students to take accurate blood pressure measurements. We believe this is a critical effort given that the percentage of American adults with hypertension who have their blood pressure under control has significantly declined in recent years.”

Through the 2023 AMA Student BP Measurement Module Implementation Grant program, the AMA is awarding $20,000 each to the following medical and health profession schools to implement the modules from the AMA’s Student BP Measurement Essentials Learning Series in their curricula. As part of the grant, these schools will document and evaluate the program and report learnings back to the AMA to help with future dissemination of the training series.

  • Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and Medicine
  • NSU’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine
  • Stony Brook University’s Renaissance School of Medicine, School of Nursing and School of Health Professions Physician Assistant Program
  • University of Pittsburgh - Schools of Pharmacy, Medicine, and Nursing, and Dietitian Nutritionist and Physician Assistant Studies Programs
  • University of Washington School of Medicine and University of Washington Center for Health Sciences Interprofessional Education

Research demonstrates that accurate BP measurement is an important step to improve hypertension control for the more than 122 million U.S. adults with high BP. While measuring BP is a common procedure and BP guidelines recommend periodic re-training, research (PDF) shows that student training in BP measurement is often brief, with varying training models among health care schools. Additionally, some health care schools do not provide any training on self-measured blood pressure (SMBP), which is an important component of care for patients with hypertension. And, despite research highlighting a decline in students’ BP measurement skills in the months following initial training, many health care schools do not currently offer a BP measurement refresher course. To help fill these gaps in standardized training, the AMA launched its Student BP Measurement Essentials series in 2021 and collaborated with five medical schools that implemented the modules in their 2021 curricula. The AMA used the learnings from the 2021 rollout to add new modules and improve existing modules, which are available for free on the AMA Ed Hub™. To date, there have been more than 14,000 module completions.

The AMA will continue to work with more medical and health care profession schools to implement evidence-based guidelines aimed at ensuring every health care student in the U.S. is competently trained to measure BP accurately every time.

“Through this work, we are building on AMA’s ongoing commitment to drive the future of medicine by reimagining medical education, training and lifelong learning—ensuring medical and health profession students are equipped to provide care in the rapidly-evolving health care environment given the increased use of telehealth and home blood pressure monitoring,” said Dr. Ehrenfeld.

Improving the health of the nation is a top priority for the AMA. The AMA has been working over the past decade to help improve health outcomes associated with cardiovascular disease, including through the AMA MAP™ Hypertension program—which helps physicians, care teams and health systems improve blood pressure measurement accuracy, increase the use of evidence-based treatment and engage patients in self-management of their blood pressure. The AMA will continue to further these efforts to address the growing burden of high blood pressure in the United States.

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.