The effect of physician feedback and an action checklist on diabetes care measures

Am J Med Qual. Sep-Oct 2004;19(5):207-13. doi: 10.1177/106286060401900505.


The objective was to evaluate whether physician feedback accompanied by an action checklist improved diabetes care process measures. Eighty-three physicians in an academic general medicine clinic were provided a single feedback report on the most recent date and result of diabetes care measures (glycosylated hemoglobin [A1c], urine microalbumin, serum creatinine, lipid levels, retinal examination) as well as recent diabetes medication refills with calculated dosing and adherence on 789 patients. An educational session regarding the feedback and adherence information was provided. The physicians were asked to complete a checklist accompanying the feedback on each of their patients, indicating requested actions with respect to follow-up, testing, and counseling. The physicians completed 82% of patient checklists, requesting actions consistent with patient needs on the basis of the feedback. Of the physicians, 93% felt the patient information and intervention format to be useful. The odds of urine microalbumin testing, serum creatinine, lipid profile, A1c, and retinal examination increased in the 6 months after the feedback. The increase was sustained at 1 year only for microalbumin and retinal exams. There was no significant change in refill adherence for the group overall after the feedback, although adherence did improve among patients of physicians attending the educational session. No significant change was noted in lipid or A1c levels during the study period. In conclusion, a simple physician feedback tool with action checklist can be both helpful and popular for improving rates of diabetes care guideline adherence. More complex interventions are likely required to improve diabetes outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Disease Management*
  • Feedback*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Virginia