At SunTech, blood pressure measurement is our religion. In fact, we have a saying about it: "It's more than just a strength; it's who we are; it's what we do." With this singular focus, we get to see how blood pressure measurement is used across all different clinical applications. We see the nuanced experience that clinicians in different specialties and their patients encounter and that makes a difference in their use of automated BP. While it's rare that one of these nuances becomes the basis for policy, that's exactly what the state of New York is recommending in its advisory on patient care in moving ambulances.
The Safety Technical Advisory Group surveyed the EMS community, physicians, and educators statewide in order to help define the balance between providing patient care and keeping providers safe in transit. The policy was made public and supported by the New York State Department of Health Bureau of EMS, the State EMS Council, and the State Emergency Medical Advisory Committee earlier this year. At a detailed level, it urges EMS providers to use vital signs monitors and automated technologies like BP measurement so that they can continue their primary tasks to stabilize and care for patients but while seat-belted or harnessed to ensure safety. While it's not impossible to take a BP manually while restrained, the automation makes the process much easier. The policy takes a practical and thoughtful approach to using technology to aid and protect clinicians but also allows leeway for them to do their jobs as they see fit. We are always delighted to see when technologies like automated BP are used to improve, not replace, the care that clinicians deliver patients. After all, it's clinicians who provide the care, not the technology.