Table 1

Attributes most appropriately aligned with each health professional group: A focus on physicians, nurses and nurse practitioners, and pharmacists.

HEALTH CARE GROUPATTRIBUTES
Physicians
  • Have well-formed long-term relationships with patients

  • Have knowledge of relevant comorbidities, history, and social circumstances

  • Perform diagnostic workup for secondary causes of hypertension

  • Arrange appropriate ongoing diagnostic and laboratory testing once the diagnosis has been made

  • Identify the presence of and the need to treat multiple risk factors

  • Develop treatment plans, including integration of the management of hypertension with the management of other risks and comorbidities

  • Know when to refer for specialist consultation

Nurses and nurse practitioners
  • Are accessible in primary care settings, specialty clinics, and inpatient settings

  • Screen at-risk patients in all settings

  • Provide patient education on pharmacologic treatment and lifestyle changes, with additional time given to reinforcing important concepts and encouraging self-management

  • Take correct blood pressure measurements and educate patients on proper home-measurement technique

  • Nurse practitioners diagnose patients with primary hypertension and assess, counsel on, and monitor antihypertensive drug therapy

Pharmacists
  • Are highly accessible and present in most communities

  • Screen at-risk patients (public health approach)

  • Sell blood pressure monitoring devices, and ensure that only approved devices are sold to patients and that devices are used properly by patients

  • Have medication expertise, with respect to selection and monitoring of drug therapy, drug-related causes of hypertension, patient counseling, drug interactions, and cost effectiveness

  • Assess medication adherence, reinforce its importance, and share this information with the team; medication-packaging aids can be implemented if required

  • Can proactively identify patients with poorly controlled hypertension or other issues and refer them to other health care professionals