Education, training, and demonstrated competency are the sine qua non of an effective preventive medicine program. Basic components of such a program include an understanding of how to screen individuals for the presence of risk factors for HTN (e.g., administer written or verbal questionnaire); how to effectively make BP measurements (e.g., proper use of measurement devices); how to collect, retain, and distribute screening test data; and familiarity with referral procedures and community health care resources.42
An essential element of any preventive medicine program is effective communication. In addition to verbal communication, patients should also be given a personalized written summary of identified risk factors for HTN, the date of BP measurements, type of device used, test results, and a statement about possibility of a false-positive or false-negative result, and for an individual with a positive screening test result, a statement that he or she should seek further medical evaluation (information on the availability of alternative health care resources should be provided to individuals who do not have access to a physician).43 An effective program must also incorporate timely follow-up to verify that individuals with positive screening test result have sought medical attention.
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