Using a flow sheet to improve performance in treatment of elderly patients with type 2 diabetes

Fam Med. 1999 May;31(5):331-6.


Background and objectives: Numerous studies have shown that physicians do not provide all the preventive and therapeutic care recommended for patients with diabetes. This study determined if use of a medical record flow sheet could increase compliance with seven quality-of-care indicators developed by the American Diabetes Association.

Methods: Subjects included Medicare enrollees with type 2 diabetes. Following an analysis of baseline data, physicians in the practice used a flow sheet that contained recommended guidelines for diabetes care. Staff inserted the flow sheet into the records of patients included in the baseline sample. Physicians and staff also received education about use of the flow sheet. The post-intervention sample consisted of the same subjects, if they had been seen by the practice during a 3-month period.

Results: The records of 114 subjects were reviewed at baseline. Of these subjects, 109 received care during the study period. Improvement was shown in six of the seven quality indicators and was also observed in the performance of post-intervention rates for patients whose flow sheet was used, compared with those for whom it was not used.

Conclusions: The results indicate that education and performance in diabetes care can improve with the use of a flow sheet.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Documentation
  • Family Practice / methods*
  • Female
  • Geriatrics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Records*
  • Michigan
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Software Design