To: Do: Blood Pressure Awareness Month – May

The Optical Journal - Optical News With Independent Views

May is National Blood Pressure Month as well as National Stroke Awareness Month. How many of you take a patient’s Blood Pressure? Even my Dentist takes my blood pressure (wrist cuff). Not only is blood pressure important to overall health, it adds an important customer service factor for your patients- really how many online companies take blood pressure? ( To see what some OD’s are saying about taking blood pressure check under the infographic for the OD’s on Facebook.


Steve Silberberg I do. #1 why not? We have found quite a few people with elevated pressure that were very grateful. Probably saved a couple of lives also. It is quick, easy, noninvasive also. I also attested to meaningful use and got my checks for two years without taking an exclusion for BP ($18,000, $12,000 for both my partner and I)
Steven M Newman I do. We, as eye doctors, dilate the eyes to look at the arteries and veins in the retina and determine if they are healthy or show signs of cardiovascular disease. Doing this without taking BP is like looking at a map without a legend.

Nguyen Quach I do! Should always do! And most of the time, it utterly surprised the patients…

Nguyen Quach The question should be: do you as doc take the pressure, the assistance? Do you use the automated cuff? Wrist cuff? Or manual

Lee Dodge I definitely do. I actually wrote an article for the California Optometric Association regarding its importance if you would like a copy.

Kara Gibbs I take vitals. Height, weight, blood pressure and pulse.

Michelle Saad Barnes Ditto all above, for the reasons stated. Plus, many patients are curious about it because their previous eye doctor did not check vitals. They are usually impressed with the explanation of the eye-body health connection

Gary Fisher I have taken BPs for nearly 40 years. ( as mentioned, it is actually my techs that do it.) We start with kids as soon as they are large enough for the pediatric cuff. You would be amazed at the juvenile hypertension associated with obesity. I can’t imagine NOT taking BPs.

Jenny Schlesener Scott We have taken blood pressures from the day we opened. The health of the eye and the protection of vision is so closely tied to ones overall health and systemic conditions that you have to see the whole picture. There are also a fair number of people who get eye exams that do not have routine physicals. We have referred several to their primary care doctors and a few to the emergency room. Our staff take the pressures using an automated cuff, but abnormal results are confirmed manually by the doctors.

Jack D. Miller Yes, sometimes enters decision making.

Steve Bussa Yes, tech, wrist, auto

Jason-Stephanie Ommen Right now, I do if I see any type of retinopathy (including tortuousity/ crossing changes), manually (I just prefer the manual)

Gary Fisher I think that one should be proactive, not reactive. Don’t wait until you see hypertensive hemes or tortuosity. For me, it has also been a tremendous practice builder. I use it for referrals to PCPs, who in turn then started referring to me.

Jason-Stephanie Ommen Agreed. But when you’re moving offices/ houses/ cities with a 5 mo old while starting “cold” with no staff, some battles are to fight another day, lol.. hence the “right now” : )

Gary Fisher OK, this should probably be another poll, but it is in the same vein. How many do routine VFs, either screening or threshold? I don’t care about how you do or do not bill, that is another issue.

Danielle Gonzalez Ledet I currently don’t, but I think I will start. Great way to make an impression on patients. So many people don’t get a physical as often as they should.

Jason-Stephanie Ommen  We do routine FDT screeners C-20-5, then confrontation or threshold fields if abnormal

Gary Fisher It is not just smoke and mirrors. I think that you will be amazed at the pathology you find. I have found benign meningiomas that accounted for 20/25 we would have never done if we waited for “a reason”. The number of undocumented old CVAs has just blown my mind. The examples would take a book.

Gary Fisher I only do confrontation if I can’t get a reliable HVF.
Jason-Stephanie Ommen Very interesting.. I’ll continue to have my radar up!

Gary Fisher I find it silly that we accept doing routine IOP screenings, but consider routine VF screenings out of bounds. If anything, that is backward.
Dwayne Yeager been doing it since i opened in 1986 – not a week goes by that i don’t discover undiagnosed or uncontrolled ht
Nguyen Quach Economic of time: IOP screen: 30-45 seconds. FDT: 3-5 minutes… Multiply that X
Jenny Schlesener Scott We do screening VF’s on pretest. Almost all of our IOP’s are done by goldman and always performed on an annual exam.
Robert M Easton Jr On all HBP, Glaucoma, and patients with signs, symptoms and family history.
Steve Silberberg we do screening fields (No charge) on all adults. The question of time is not a problem since ancillary staff does the test. We do not bill this but if we find a reason to be more critical we than go to threshold fields
Gary Fisher Time should never be a factor in deciding whether a procedure has validity, or not. Within reason.
Charlotte Tlachac Done on ALL patients…over the years, we have averted several strokes by sending people straight to the ER instead of completing their exams. Always astounded at how they have no symptoms even with a BP of 210/140!!
Steve Silberberg This begs the question of having patients make there own appts.WE do an elaborate prescreening with puff, A/R, screening fields, screening digital imaging. On CL wearers we also toa sceening cell count and topography. No charge for any of these. Lets s…See More

Joe Deering Is there anyone who does bp on everyone themselves or is everyone auxiliary staff? BP, screening fields, mpod, screening imaging all effect time and the bottom line greatl when your a one armed paper hanger.
Steve Silberberg Why would it effect time. the staff is doing it while you see patients?? I do cuff if readings are high and that takes like 30 seconds except for big fat arms
Bryan Mirone Steve what do you mean when u refer to attesting to meaningful use

Joe Deering Right Steve you have staff doing it so it doesn’t effect your time (or it does it just doesn’t effect YOUR time). I don’t have staff so begs the question again. Does anyone do it on everyone without aux staff? And it does add time when you add in the eye explanation and the one or two hesitant people a day.
Gary Fisher Staff time should always be less expensive than your time. If you don’t have enough patients to justify more staff, then you have enough time to do everything yourself. If doing everything correctly means that you are rushed, you need staff. The big…See More
Steve Silberberg Bryan Mirone..You have to know what meaningful use. It is using EHR’s ina specific manner that the government regognizes in yyour program. Each doc in the office gets $44,000 do to it ..which is now dropping this year. Eventually you are going to have …See More What is Meaningful Use? | Policy Researchers & Implementers | www.healthit.govWhat is meaningful use? Learn about the meaningful use criteria and how to earn money for using EHRs through the EHR Incentive Programs.

Sue Lesse Kaplan We did on all patients even prior to meaningful use and now have included it with other vitals. Finished compliance for 2012 and now working on 2013.
Richard Hom Cathy Ives When I was in practice, I took blood pressures on almost everyone coming in. The technician had no objection to it especially when we found a 240/120 in the first week I asked her to do it. She is a believer. You need the tech to believe in this. If not, it can be a hard sell for some patients. In my case, I had an automated wrist version rather than the traditional “cuff”. It was “good enough” for me due to available staff.