Objective: There is a well-documented gap between diabetes care guidelines and the services received by patients in almost all health care settings. This project reports initial results from a computer-assisted, patient-centered intervention to improve the level of recommended services received by patients from a wide variety of primary care providers.
Design and settings: Eight hundred eighty-six patients with type 2 diabetes under the care of 52 primary care physicians participated in the Diabetes Priority Program. Physicians were stratified and randomized to intervention or control conditions and evaluated on 2 primary outcomes: number of recommended laboratory screenings and recommended patient-centered care activities completed. Secondary outcomes were evaluated using the Problem Areas in Diabetes scale and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-9 depression scale, and the RE-AIM framework was used to evaluate potential for dissemination.
Results: The program was well-implemented and significantly improved both number of recommended laboratory assays (3.4 vs 3.1; P <.001) and patient-centered aspects of diabetes care patients received (3.6 vs 3.2; P <.001) compared to those in randomized control practices. Activities that were increased most were foot exams (follow-up rates of 80% vs 52%; P <.003) and nutrition counseling (76% vs 52%; P <.001).
Conclusions: Patients are very willing to participate in a brief computer-assisted intervention that is effective in enhancing quality of diabetes care. Staff in primary care offices can consistently deliver an intervention of this nature, but most physicians were unwilling to participate in this translation research study.