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Diabetes Care. 2004 Jan;27(1):2-8.

Improving diabetes care in midwest community health centers with the health disparities collaborative.

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Department of Medicine and Health Studies, Diabetes Research and Training Center, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.

Erratum in

  • Diabetes Care. 2004 Aug;27(8):2099.



To evaluate the Diabetes Health Disparities Collaborative, an initiative by the Bureau of Primary Health Care to reduce health disparities and improve the quality of diabetes care in community health centers.


One year before- after trial. Beginning in 1998, 19 Midwestern health centers undertook a diabetes quality improvement initiative based on a model including rapid Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles from the continuous quality improvement field; a Chronic Care Model emphasizing patient self-management, delivery system redesign, decision support, clinical information systems, leadership, health system organization, and community outreach; and collaborative learning sessions. We reviewed charts of 969 random adults for American Diabetes Association standards, surveyed 79 diabetes quality improvement team members, and performed qualitative interviews.


The performance of several key processes of care assessed by chart review increased, including rates of HbA(1c) measurement (80-90%; adjusted odds ratio 2.1, 95% CI 1.6-2.8), eye examination referral (36-47%; 1.6, 1.1-2.3), foot examination (40-64%; 2.7, 1.8-4.1), and lipid assessment (55-66%; 1.6, 1.1-2.3). Mean value of HbA(1c) tended to improve (8.5-8.3%; difference -0.2, 95% CI -0.4 to 0.03). Over 90% of survey respondents stated that the Diabetes Collaborative was worth the effort and was successful. Major challenges included needing more time and resources, initial difficulty developing computerized patient registries, team and staff turnover, and occasional need for more support by senior management.


The Health Disparities Collaborative improved diabetes care in health centers in 1 year.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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