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Improving Diabetes Care & Outcomes

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About the Toolkit for Improving Diabetes Care & Outcomes

Diabetes affects over 29 million people or 9% of the population in the United States. It is the seventh leading cause of death in the country and can result in serious health complications, including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower extremity amputations.

Healthcare providers achieve varying degrees of success in controlling diabetes. For example, the percent of diabetic patients whose blood sugar is controlled (A1c <8%) ranges from 68% to 80% 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 diabetes control, and selected a metric to track progress using the data publicly reported to WCHQ. 
  • Recommended strategies to help achieve the improvement goal.  These strategies offer the combined advantages of being evidence-based and effective, without requiring provider organizations to purchase expensive new technology or hire additional staff. 
  • Compiled a variety of resources into a toolkit to support provider organizations in implementing the improvement strategies.

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, UW Health Innovation Program; 2015. Available at: http://www.hipxchange.org/DiabetesCare.