Quality of outpatient care for diabetes mellitus in a national electronic health record network

Am J Med Qual. Jan-Feb 2006;21(1):13-7. doi: 10.1177/1062860605283883.


This retrospective cohort study examined quality of care for diabetes in a large national network of electronic health record users. Of 10572 patients with diabetes included in the study, 55% had at least 2 hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) tests, 95% had at least 1 systolic and diastolic blood pressure test, and 52% had at least 1 low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol test over a 1-year period. Of those tested, 41% had an HbA1c<7.0, 28% had a blood pressure<130/80 mm Hg, and 44% had an LDL cholesterol level<100 mg/dL. Of those not adequately controlled, 99% were prescribed hypoglycemic medications, 85% were prescribed antihypertensive medications, and 71% were prescribed lipid-lowering medications. These results suggest that there is significant room for improvement in testing and control of risk factors for persons with diabetes and that the electronic health record has a significant potential for conducting practice-based quality-of-care studies across large numbers of outpatient practices.

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care / standards*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized*
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States