Benchmarking network for clinical and humanistic outcomes in diabetes (BENCH-D) study: protocol, tools, and population

Springerplus. 2014 Feb 12:3:83. doi: 10.1186/2193-1801-3-83. eCollection 2014.


Background: In the context of the DAWN-2 initiatives, the BENCH-D Study aims to test a model of regional benchmarking to improve not only the quality of diabetes care, but also patient-centred outcomes.

Methods/design: As part of the AMD-Annals quality improvement program, 32 diabetes clinics in 4 Italian regions extracted clinical data from electronic databases for measuring process and outcome quality indicators. A random sample of patients with type 2 diabetes filled in a questionnaire including validated instruments to assess patient-centred indicators: SF-12 Health Survey, WHO-5 Well-Being Index, Diabetes Empowerment Scale, Problem Areas in Diabetes, Health Care Climate Questionnaire, Patients Assessment of Chronic Illness Care, Barriers to Medications, Patient Support, Diabetes Self-care Activities, and Global Satisfaction for Diabetes Treatment. Data were discussed with participants in regional meetings. Main problems, obstacles and solutions were identified through a standardized process, and a regional mandate was produced to drive the priority actions. Overall, clinical indicators on 78,854 patients have been measured; additionally, 2,390 patients filled-in the questionnaire. The regional mandates were officially launched in March 2012. Clinical and patient-centred indicators will be evaluated again after 18 months. A final assessment of clinical indicators will take place after 30 months.

Discussion: In the context of the BENCH-D study, a set of instruments has been validated to measure patient well-being and satisfaction with the care. In the four regional meetings, different priorities were identified, reflecting different organizational resources of the different areas. In all the regions, a major challenge was represented by the need of skills and instruments to address psychosocial issues of people with diabetes. The BENCH-D study allows a field testing of benchmarking activities focused on clinical and patient-centred indicators.

Keywords: Benchmarking; Patient-centered outcomes; Quality of care; Type 2 diabetes.