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Diabetes quality improvement in Department of Veterans Affairs Ambulatory Care Clinics: a group-randomized clinical trial.

Reiber GE, Au D, McDonell M, Fihn SD. Diabetes quality improvement in Department of Veterans Affairs Ambulatory Care Clinics: a group-randomized clinical trial. Diabetes Care. 2004 May 1; 27 Suppl 2:B61-8.

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OBJECTIVE: To conduct a group-randomized clinical trial to determine whether regular feedback to primary care providers of synthesized information on patients' health, function, and satisfaction would demonstrate improved outcomes for their patients with diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Patients in General Internal Medicine Clinics Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers were randomized into seven intervention or control firms. Patient self-reported information was collected by mail on general health, diabetes, and up to five other chronic conditions. Patients with diabetes received the Seattle Diabetes Questionnaire, the 36-item Medical Outcomes Study short form (SF-36), and a validated patient satisfaction questionnaire at regular intervals. Data from self-report, clinical, pharmacy, and laboratory sources were synthesized into patient-specific feedback reports that intervention providers received before patients' visits. RESULTS: The timely delivery to primary care providers of state-of-the-art patient-feedback reports that identified patient issues and areas for improvement did not result in significant improvements in patient outcomes between the intervention and control firms. CONCLUSIONS: Outcomes in diabetic patients whose providers received synthesized patient data before visits were no better than in those receiving care from control firms. Future studies may benefit from substantial involvement in patients discussing, problem solving, and goal setting in addition to use of timely synthesized patient data.

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