As hospitals and healthcare systems look to create efficiencies in response to staffing and financial pressures, administrators are increasingly scrutinizing clinical workflows to identify solutions that trim time and costs while improving patient outcomes. One opportunity to streamline an otherwise disparate clinical ecosystem is through data—which is why leaders have turned toward systems and equipment that consolidate and optimize insights across the care continuum.
But it's not just large infrastructure overhauls that can make an impact through data centralization. Even upgrading seemingly small accessories, like non-invasive blood pressure cuffs, can generate big change.
Collecting Continuous, Centralised Blood Pressure Data
As opposed to invasive arterial pressure monitoring, automated non-invasive surveillance tracks a patient's blood pressure following a designated cadence, such as every 15 minutes.
This continuous flow of information provides an uninterrupted and cohesive look at a patient's blood pressure readings over time, without requiring medical staff to retake those vitals. This kind of 24-hour ambulatory surveillance can help drive clinical decision-making for various applications—from monitoring response to antihypertensive medications to tracking blood pressure while a patient is taking other drugs.1
As a general approach, continuous monitoring of vitals has long been associated with positive outcomes and reduced costs. One 2021 study among more than 100,000 patients with continuous pulse oximetry surveillance, for example, found that zero patients died or were harmed by respiratory depression of sedatives and analgesics.2
Specific to blood pressure monitoring, the impact has been similar: A 2018 paper quantified the cost-effectiveness of screen-positive ambulatory blood pressure monitoring at up to $5,013. This calculation accounted for preventing events and maintenance care for health states such as myocardial infarction and stroke.3
These savings are compounded by the opportunity to generate even more efficiencies through clinical accessories that make blood pressure monitoring faster, more unified, and more cost-effective. In particular, a few elements are worth exploring when purchasing accessories:
- Cuff material: Different cuff materials may be more efficient for different applications. For example, soft materials can promote patient comfort during extended stays (with minimal need to reposition), while durable materials can withstand more frequent disinfection.
- Cuff compatibility: Quick-release connector systems that easily and audibly attach cuffs to machines are increasingly desirable in settings where the cuff travels with the patient, helping to minimize the time spent linking hoses while consolidating vitals data through a cohesive line of products. Single-patient pairing quick-connect systems also minimize the need for infection control.
- Cuff sizes: Performance accuracy may depend on ensuring a proper patient fit, so it's best to look for options with a broad range of cuff sizes for neonates, children, and adults.
3 Non-Invasive Blood Pressure Cuffs to Consider
When determining which accessories stand to improve patient outcomes while driving efficiencies, healthcare facilities may be best served with a variety of non-invasive blood pressure cuffs to use in different settings. Here are three to consider:
- CRITIKON SOFT-CUF: As the most popular of GE Healthcare's blood pressure cuffs, the limited reuse SOFT-CUF features soft, absorbent material—without DEHP or natural rubber latex—for patient comfort and safety. Rounded corners make this cuff a preferred choice for patient comfort, particularly for longer stays.
- CRITIKON DURA-CUF: This reusable and easy-to-use blood pressure cuff features flexible nylon that promotes durability and simple cleaning but with the same rounded corners as the SOFT-CUF for patient comfort. In particular, the tough material may be ideal for extensive use and multiple disinfections.
- CRITIKON RADIAL-CUF: As the first blood pressure cuff designed for adult patients that are overly muscular or obese, the limited reuse and clinically validated RADIAL-CUF enables forearm placement. This placement may provide more reliable readings than when traditional cuffs are placed on the forearm, which frequently happens when upper arm cuffs do not fit on the upper arm of patients that are overly muscular or obese. One GE Healthcare analysis, for example, found that this misplacement can understate systolic blood pressure by an average of 10 mmHg.
Importantly, all options feature GE Healthcare's proprietary connection system DINACLICK™, enabling fast and easy-to-use connections for single and dual lumen non-invasive blood pressure hoses. The audible click assures clinicians that the cuff is correctly connected.
Creating Efficiencies Continuum-Wide
Workflow efficiency is key when collecting patient data such as blood pressure, but dispersing that data across incompatible machines creates added costs and labor needs. Generating a steady flow of insights into a single system can help cut waste continuum-wide. But for even more savings, don't forget the accessories—they matter more than you might think.