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Improving Diabetes Care & Outcomes

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About the Toolkit for Improving Diabetes Care & Outcomes

One in about every 10 people in the United States have diabetes and 1 out of 4 don’t know they have it. Diabetes has a high economic burden accounting for more than 20% of health care spending. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations, and adult-onset blindness. Risk of death for adults with diabetes is 50% higher than for adults without diabetes (CDC - Diabetes Fact Sheet). 

Healthcare providers achieve varying degrees of success in controlling diabetes. For example, the percent of adult patients with good control - A1c level controlled to less than 8.0% ranges from 69% to 78% among the provider organizations – health systems, medical groups, and clinics – that publicly report data to the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ).  Collectively, the provider organizations in WCHQ’s membership represent over 65% of Wisconsin physicians and their patients.

WCHQ formed a Diabetes Quality Improvement Steering Team – composed of clinical, quality, and operational leaders from healthcare provider organizations, as well as subject-matter experts from other key stakeholders – to assess the performance variation in diabetes control rates and to promote across-the-board improvement.  The team took action:

  • Established a goal to improve Good Control - A1c level, and selected a metric to track progress using the data publicly reported to WCHQ. 
  • Recommended strategies to help achieve the improvement goal, that are proven best practices successfully adopted within the WCHQ member organizations.
  • Compiled this comprehensive package of tools, resources and supportive literature to guide organizations interested in in implementing the improvement strategies to achieve better outcomes for patients.

What does the toolkit contain?

The Toolkit for Improving Diabetes Care & Outcomes presents several evidence-based strategies that healthcare provider organizations can use to improve diabetes control among their patients. 

The toolkit also provides a variety of resources – e.g., guidelines, EHR screenshots, sample policies, templates, web links – to support implementing the improvement strategies.   

Who should use the toolkit?

This toolkit is designed for administrators, clinicians, and staff within healthcare provider organizations who are seeking strategies and tools to improve diabetes control among their patients. 

The toolkit may also interest others – e.g., researchers, payers – involved with quality improvement activities for diabetes care in the ambulatory setting.    

Toolkit development and funding

This toolkit was developed by WCHQ’s Diabetes Quality Improvement Steering Team, representing clinical, quality, and operational leaders from healthcare provider organizations, as well as subject-matter experts from other key stakeholders. Team members and their organizations are acknowledged within the toolkit.

The toolkit received financial support from the Cooperative Agreement 5U58DP004828-02, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Department of Health and Human Services received by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.

Citation: Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality. “Toolkit for Improving Diabetes Care & Outcomes.” Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality; 2018. Available at: http://www.hipxchange.org/DiabetesCare. 

We welcome your questions and comments about this toolkit, which is intended to advance collaborative learning, open sharing, and collective improvement. Please contact the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality at info@wchq.org.