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How to measure and hit a healthy blood pressure

Last Modified: June 01, 2017

Heart Health

In America, nearly 75 million people have high blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart failure, vision loss, heart attack and kidney failure, if left untreated. To address the issue, Parkview opened The Parkview Heart Institute Specialty Hypertension Care Clinic. Jessica Barkdull, MSN, NP-C, PPG – Cardiology, tells us more about the services provided there as well as proper technique for portable and public blood pressure machines.

What is the intent of The Parkview Heart Institute Specialty Hypertension Care Clinic?  
To reduce the risk of heart failure, stroke and heart attacks by attaining recommended blood pressure goals. Nearly 1/3 of the American population has high blood pressure. Of those who know they have high blood pressure, only around 50 percent of these individuals have achieved their blood pressure goal (CDC, 2015).

Who do you typically work with at the clinic?
We see any individuals who are referred for better blood pressure control. Typically, these patients have had some difficulty with their blood pressure control and their primary care provider feels they would benefit from specialty evaluation, treatment and education.

Where is the clinic located?
 It is located within the Parkview Heart Institute in the cardiology clinic.

How do these services assist the patient?
In the clinic, we assist the participants with gaining a better understanding of their blood pressure and how it impacts their overall health. We then provide tools (medication, education, lifestyle changes) to achieve blood pressure control.

What should patients at the clinic expect?
We use a multi-faceted approach to help improve blood pressure control. We start with a thorough health history focused on the underlying causes of difficult-to-control blood pressure. The patient is evaluated by a cardiologist and a pharmacist with follow-up visits with a nurse practitioner and/or cardiologist. We order the appropriate tests to evaluate the effects of blood pressure on the organs and to look for reasons for uncontrolled blood pressure. A treatment plan is created and implemented. At each visit, we address education and lifestyle changes. The clinic participant sees a dietitian for counseling during their clinic experience. They are also referred to our YMCA partnership for an 8-week period.

Do patients need a referral?
Yes, currently we are accepting referrals.

How often do they come in?
Generally, we see clinic participants on a monthly or bimonthly basis, depending on their needs. For some participants, blood pressure becomes controlled quickly with evaluation, medication and lifestyle changes. For others, it may take a bit longer.

Anything potential clinic participants should know?
Blood pressure control is essential to your health! Controlling blood pressure reduces your heart failure risk by 50 percent, stroke risk by 33 percent and heart attack risk by 25 percent. With the correct combination of medication and lifestyle interventions blood pressure goals can be achieved.

Measuring success.
If you have concerns about your blood pressure, it’s important to regularly check your numbers. You can purchase a portable machine or use a public kiosk at your convenience. The PPG ­– Cardiology team offers these tips for a successful reading.


Check your numbers. Parkview Heart Institute currently sponsors a convenient blood pressure kiosk at Glenbrook Mall. 


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