Accuracy of blood pressure measurements reported in an electronic medical record during routine primary care visits

Paul A. Fishman, Melissa L. Anderson, Andrea J. Cook, James D. Ralston, Sheryl L Catz, Jim Carlson, Eric B. Larson, Beverly B. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Electronic medical records (EMRs) allow for real-time access to blood pressure (BP) information on a population basis and improve identification and treatment of individuals with hypertension. Despite the potential uses of the data available from EMRs, relatively little research has examined the reliability of this data. To address this gap, the authors examined the reliability of BP taken at primary care visits and recorded in an EMR with those taken at a research study visit at which standard protocols were used to measure BP among all adults as well as by sex and age. Systolic BP (SBP) averaged 3.7 (17.3) points and diastolic BP (DBP) was 2.8 (10.6) points lower in the EMR than in the study visit across age and sex groups, with all differences statistically significant. For this cohort of patients with a diagnosis of hypertension, there was moderate correlation between BP measurements taken in clinic and at research. However, BP control for individuals, as defined by an SBP <140mmHg and DBP 90mmHg, differed by almost 25%. Known variability of BP and clinic procedures for measuring and recording BP may account for these differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-828
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Hypertension
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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