Disease management program makes headway

According to a new study, efforts to improve the quality of care for diabetes, asthma and hypertension have improved processes of care for these conditions. However, this was not found to improve intermediate clinical outcomes. The study was designed to improve healthcare for urban and rural low-income patients receiving care in community health centers.

As a result of the effort, there was a 21 percent increase in foot examinations for patients with diabetes, a 14 percent increase in the use of anti-inflammatory medication for patients with asthma, and a 16 percent increase in the level of screening for glycated hemoglobin in patients with diabetes mellitus. Though these are positive trends, the lack of corresponding impact on outcomes demonstrates how difficult it is for such studies to have an impact on patient outcomes. "There is still much to learn about the tools and methods for quality improvement and their potential effectiveness. The substantial room for improvement in the post intervention period suggests the need for continued refinement of these quality improvement methods," noted Bruce E. Landon, M.D., M.B.A., who directed the program. The study was conducted by the AHRQ and Health Resources and Services Administration.

For more:
- read the press release on the findings

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