Introduction: This study examined the short- and long-term effects of a quality improvement collaborative on patient outcomes, professional performance, and structural aspects of chronic care management of type 2 diabetes in an integrated care setting.
Methods: Controlled pre- and post-intervention study assessing patient outcomes (hemoglobin A1c, cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, blood lipid levels, and smoking status), professional performance (guideline adherence), and structural aspects of chronic care management from baseline up to 24 months. Analyses were based on 1,861 patients with diabetes in six intervention and nine control regions representing 37 general practices and 13 outpatient clinics.
Results: Modest but significant improvement was seen in mean systolic blood pressure (decrease by 4.0 mm Hg versus 1.6 mm Hg) and mean high density lipoprotein levels (increase by 0.12 versus 0.03 points) at two-year follow up. Positive but insignificant differences were found in hemoglobin A1c (0.3%), cholesterol, and blood lipid levels. The intervention group showed significant improvement in the percentage of patients receiving advice and instruction to examine feet, and smaller reductions in the percentage of patients receiving instruction to monitor blood glucose and visiting a dietician annually. Structural aspects of self-management and decision support also improved significantly.
Conclusions: At a time of heightened national attention toward diabetes care, our results demonstrate a modest benefit of participation in a multi-institutional quality improvement collaborative focusing on integrated, patient-centered care. The effects persisted for at least 12 months after the intervention was completed.
Trial number: http://clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT 00160017.