Making Strides in Controlling Diabetes

07 Aug 2013
With the help of Cincinnati Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q), led by the Health Collaborative, 13,500 diabetes patients have their disease under control, which means fewer heart attacks, fewer strokes, reduced risk of kidney failure, and an improved quality of life. The Health Collaborative’s three years of ongoing analysis of diabetes care in Greater Cincinnati reveals patients of the more than 500 doctors reporting their diabetes results to the collaborative are showing improvement in their ability to control their disease. The number of reporting practices increased by more than 25 percent from 2011 to 2012. 
To assist the practices, the Health Collaborative has led three ongoing quality improvement (QI) programs that include group learning sessions and one-on-one coaching in the office setting. The collaborative also provides technical assistance to two hospital systems launching QI programs in their system-owned practices. The Health Collaborative’s program teaches proven models for improvement, such as Lean and Six Sigma, adapted for use in medical office settings.
The Health Collaborative looks at five factors, known as the D5, that are recognized markers of optimal diabetes control. Local physicians are participating in the analysis by voluntarily providing de-identified patient data on these five measures. The analysis by the Health Collaborative provides specific results on diabetes control for each reporting physician practice, as well as a community-wide score that serves as a benchmark. All results are displayed on the health information website
“Choosing meaningful measures is important. Diabetes is relevant, and the D5 is a nationally endorsed measure, also vetted through our Physician Leadership Group, which gave it credibility and momentum right from the start,” said Gina Carney, project director of the AF4Q Cincinnati Alliance.
Greg Ebel, former executive director of the Health Collaborative, said the improvements in care can serve as a national beacon. “We are proving that if a community collaborates around proactive steps to improve health and health care, you can bend the curve and generate results that save lives and preserve health care dollars.”