Introduction: While the Chronic Care Model (CCM) has been shown to improve the care of patients with chronic illnesses, primary care physicians have been unprepared in its use, and residencies have encountered challenges in introducing it into the academic environment.
Aim: Our residency program has implemented a diabetes management program modeled on the CCM to evaluate its impact on health outcomes of diabetic patients and educational outcomes of residents.
Setting: University-affiliated, community-based family medicine residency program.
Program description: Six residents, two faculty clinicians, and clinic staff formed a diabetes management team. We redesigned the outpatient experience for diabetic patients by incorporating elements of the CCM: multidisciplinary team care through planned and group visits; creation of a diabetes registry; use of guidelines-based flow sheets; and incorporation of self-management goal-setting. Residents received extensive instruction in diabetes management, quality improvement, and patient self-management.
Program evaluation: We achieved overall improvement in all metabolic and process measures for patients, with the percentage achieving HbA1c, LDL, and BP goals simultaneously increasing from 5.7% to 17.1%. Educational outcomes for residents, as measured by compliance with review of provider performance reports and self-management goal-setting with patients, also significantly improved.
Discussion: Through a learning collaborative experience, residency programs can successfully incorporate chronic care training for residents while addressing gaps in care for patients with diabetes.