Physician process and patient outcome measures for diabetes care: Relationships to organizational characteristics

Marcia M. Ward, Jon W. Yankey, Thomas E. Vaughn, Bonnie J. Bootsmiller, Stephen D. Flach, Karl F. Welke, Jane F. Pendergast, Jonathan Perlin, Bradley N. Doebbeling

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background: Optimal diabetes management relies on providers adhering to evidence-based practice guidelines in the processes of care delivery and patients adhering to self-management recommendations to maximize patient outcomes. Purpose: To explore: (1) the degree to which providers adhere to the guidelines; (2) the extent of glycemic, lipid, and blood pressure control in patients with diabetes; and (3) the roles of organizational and patient population characteristics in affecting both provider adherence and patient outcome measures for diabetes. Design: Secondary data analysis of provider adherence and patient outcome measures from chart reviews, along with surveys of facility quality managers. Sample: We sampled 109 Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs). Results: Analyses indicated that provider adherence to diabetes guidelines (ie, hemoglobin A1c, foot, eye, renal, and lipid screens) and patient outcome measures (ie, glycemic, lipid, and hypertension control plus nonsmoking status) are comparable or better in VAMCs than reported elsewhere. VAMCs with higher levels of provider adherence to diabetes guidelines had distinguishing organizational characteristics, including more frequent feedback on diabetes quality of care, designation of a guideline champion, timely implementation of quality - of-care changes, and greater acceptance of guideline applicability. VAMCs with better patient outcome measures for diabetes had more effective communication between physicians and nurses, used educational programs and Grand Rounds presentations to implement the diabetes guidelines, and had an overall patient population that was older and with a smaller percentage of black patients. Conclusions: Healthcare organizations can adopt many of the identified organizational characteristics to enhance the delivery of care in their settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)840-850
Number of pages11
JournalMedical care
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical practice guidelines
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Health outcomes
  • Process measures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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