What is Flo?
‘Florence’, or ‘Flo’ as it is referred to, combines the expertise of healthcare professionals with the convenience of the patient’s own mobile phone. Flo sends text message reminders to patients, prompting them to check their blood pressure. The patient texts back with their readings, which are sent to a dashboard that authorised staff in the GP practice can access at any time. By using nationally developed BP protocols, practices can take advantage of results reports being fed directly into Docman, removing the need for staff to access the Flo platform and download readings. Flo can also send patients advice to act on, or ask the patient health related questions and give health promotion messages. This is all done via the familiar ’SMS’ text messaging system and is completely free of charge to patients.
What are the benefits of using Flo to Monitor Blood Pressure?
- Flo gives practitioners the opportunity to monitor patients’ blood pressure remotely, reducing the number of face-to-face appointments required to diagnose, titrate or monitor hypertension.
- Flo gives patients the opportunity to have their blood pressure monitored by the practice without having to attend the surgery, reducing inconvenience and travel cost.
- Flo can remove white-coat syndrome, optimising readings and clinical decision-making.
- Flo allows patients to understand their own condition and make lifestyle changes/seek medical advice as required to allow them to maintain longer, healthier lives. In short it can motivate patients to self-manage.
- Studies show long term hypertension monitoring with Flo encourages medication compliance and therefore reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack.
A nationally produced video to support the Florence programme can be viewed via the following link: https://vimeo.com
We encourage patients to purchase a home Blood Pressure device for self management of their blood pressure monitoring. Recommendations for a suitable device can be found via the Blood Pressure UK Org website link below. It would be helpful if you decide to purchase a monitor, that you let the surgery know to enable recording of this in your medical notes.
The British Heart foundation also provides a ‘how to’ video to Managing your Blood Pressure at home: https://www.bhf.org.uk/bloodpressureathome