Objective: To describe patterns of diabetes care and implement benchmarking activities at the national level.
Research design and methods: A total of 86 clinics participated, all using electronic medical records. Quality indicators were identified, and software was developed, enabling the extraction of the information needed for quality-of-care profiling.
Results: Overall, 114,249 patients with type 2 diabetes were seen during 2004. A1C was measured at least once in 88.0% of the patients, lipid profile in 64.6%, blood pressure in 77.2%, and microalbuminuria in 48.1%. Overall, 43.1% of individuals had A1C <or=7.0%, 36.6% had blood pressure <or=130/85 mmHg, and 29.8% had LDL cholesterol <100 mg/dl. Only 5.5% of the patients had achieved all the favorable outcomes. Wide between-center variation was documented for all indicators.
Conclusions: This study is the first step of a nationwide quality-improvement effort and documents the possibility of obtaining standardized information to be used for diabetes care profiling and benchmarking activities.