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Bridging the quality gap in diabetic hyperlipidemia: A practice-based intervention

The American Journal of Medicine
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2005.07.038
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Quality
  • Technology
  • Detailing
  • Biology
  • Communication
  • Education
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine


Abstract Purpose Dyslipidemia treatment dramatically decreases coronary heart disease risk in diabetes, yet only a minority of these patients are screened or achieve optimal low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. Our aim was to increase the percentage of diabetic patients in whom lipid management was achieved through electronic and direct educational detailing. Methods The study cohort comprised 884 diabetic patients at 12 primary care practices. Practice sites were randomized to one of three intervention groups: electronic educational detailing, direct (face-to-face) educational detailing, or control. Direct and electronic detailing were performed over a 12-month period. All sites were notified of our goal to enhance lipid testing among diabetic patients. Chart abstraction was performed 15 months after the start of the intervention. For the entire population (n = 884), the proportion of patients with lipid testing was calculated, and changes from pre- to postintervention were compared across groups. We compared pre- and postintervention LDL-cholesterol changes between groups using least square means to account for site variation. Results Favorable provider actions increased significantly with the intervention (+22% compared with +6% in controls, P = .01). By logistic regression, electronic detailing increased the likelihood of lipid testing (odds ratio 3.0, confidence interval 1.6-5.7), as did direct detailing (odds ratio 1.8, confidence interval 0.9-3.7) in patients with no preintervention LDL test (n = 432). Lipid testing tended to increase to a greater extent at intervention sites (+23% for the combination of electronic and direct detailing vs +11% for controls, P = .06). Conclusions Brief educational detailing either through direct or electronic communication favorably impacts provider behavior regarding dyslipidemia care for diabetic patients.

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