Nearly half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure, yet one-third of nurses surveyed by the American Medical Association report that they haven’t been retrained in blood pressure measurement since leaving school.

Meanwhile, fully half of physicians and physicians assistants revealed the same lack of re-training. But over half of the clinicians surveyed believe a refresher on blood pressure measurements ought to be a requirement, the surveyors found.

To that end, the AMA and the American Heart Association have developed a new e-module for use in regular training. The tool, Achieving Accuracy: BP Measurement, was developed as part of the organizations’ joint Target: BP™ initiative, an effort to ensure that clinicians are trained to accurately and consistently measure blood pressure. The module is available on the AHA’s e-Learning platform and at TargetBP.org.

“We found that the module is extremely useful for providers across all levels of training, from medical assistants through attending physicians, Debbie Cohen, M.D., director of clinical hypertension at the University of Pennsylvania told the AMA.

Accurate readings help clinicians gauge treatment decisions and give patients confidence in their efforts to manage their health, said AHA President Robert Harrington, M.D. “That’s why both the AMA and AHA strongly support refresher training for health care professionals as a critical component to providing the highest quality of care and patient safety.”

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke.