May is National Blood Pressure and Stroke Awareness Month. It is a great time of year to educate employees about the benefits of prevention and treatment. It is also an opportune time to hold a blood pressure screening at the office. In order to set up a screening, nurses can be hired for a few hours of the day (morning is best for most accurate readings) and provide results and education information on prevention and treatment. Fees run less than $100/ hour and the cost is modest compared to the price of an employee with untreated hypertension! One nurse can usually take up to thirty readings/hour.
When conducting a screening, nurses should be placed in a location that provides privacy and comfort (a chair and table). Announcements/fliers should be placed in different high traffic locations announcing dates and times that the screening will take place. Small give aways are always an incentive for employees to show up.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for high blood pressure in adults aged 18 and older http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstf/uspshype.htm
The USPSTF also has also concluded "there is high certainty the net benefit of screening for high blood pressure in adults is substantial".
What an easy and inexpensive way help employees track one of the most important health risks facing the American workplace today. Have a screening! For more information on blood pressure and stroke check out http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Hbp/HBP or www.stokeassociation.org. Have a healthy day!