Background: Disease registries, audit and feedback, and clinical reminders have been reported to improve care processes.
Objective: To assess the effects of a registry-generated audit, feedback, and patient reminder intervention on diabetes care.
Design: Randomized controlled trial conducted in a resident continuity clinic during the 2003-2004 academic year.
Participants: Seventy-eight categorical Internal Medicine residents caring for 483 diabetic patients participated. Residents randomized to the intervention (n = 39) received instruction on diabetes registry use; quarterly performance audit, feedback, and written reports identifying patients needing care; and had letters sent quarterly to patients needing hemoglobin A1c or cholesterol testing. Residents randomized to the control group (n = 39) received usual clinic education.
Measurements: Hemoglobin A1c and lipid monitoring, and the achievement of intermediate clinical outcomes (hemoglobin A1c <7.0%, LDL cholesterol <100 mg/dL, and blood pressure <130/85 mmHg) were assessed.
Results: Patients cared for by residents in the intervention group had higher adherence to guideline recommendations for hemoglobin A1c testing (61.5% vs 48.1%, p = .01) and LDL testing (75.8% vs 64.1%, p = .02). Intermediate clinical outcomes were not different between groups.
Conclusions: Use of a registry-generated audit, feedback, and patient reminder intervention in a resident continuity clinic modestly improved diabetes care processes, but did not influence intermediate clinical outcomes.