Clinically relevant quality measures for risk factor control in primary care: a retrospective cohort study

Weiler, Stefan; Gemperli, Armin; Collet, Tinh-Hai; Bauer, Douglas C; Zimmerli, Lukas; Cornuz, Jacques; Battegay, Edouard; Gaspoz, Jean-Michel; Kerr, Eve A; Aujesky, Drahomir; Rodondi, Nicolas (2014). Clinically relevant quality measures for risk factor control in primary care: a retrospective cohort study. BMC health services research, 14, p. 306. BioMed Central 10.1186/1472-6963-14-306

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BACKGROUND Assessment of the proportion of patients with well controlled cardiovascular risk factors underestimates the proportion of patients receiving high quality of care. Evaluating whether physicians respond appropriately to poor risk factor control gives a different picture of quality of care. We assessed physician response to control cardiovascular risk factors, as well as markers of potential overtreatment in Switzerland, a country with universal healthcare coverage but without systematic quality monitoring, annual report cards on quality of care or financial incentives to improve quality. METHODS We performed a retrospective cohort study of 1002 randomly selected patients aged 50-80 years from four university primary care settings in Switzerland. For hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes mellitus, we first measured proportions in control, then assessed therapy modifications among those in poor control. "Appropriate clinical action" was defined as a therapy modification or return to control without therapy modification within 12 months among patients with baseline poor control. Potential overtreatment of these conditions was defined as intensive treatment among low-risk patients with optimal target values. RESULTS 20% of patients with hypertension, 41% with dyslipidemia and 36% with diabetes mellitus were in control at baseline. When appropriate clinical action in response to poor control was integrated into measuring quality of care, 52 to 55% had appropriate quality of care. Over 12 months, therapy of 61% of patients with baseline poor control was modified for hypertension, 33% for dyslipidemia, and 85% for diabetes mellitus. Increases in number of drug classes (28-51%) and in drug doses (10-61%) were the most common therapy modifications. Patients with target organ damage and higher baseline values were more likely to have appropriate clinical action. We found low rates of potential overtreatment with 2% for hypertension, 3% for diabetes mellitus and 3-6% for dyslipidemia. CONCLUSIONS In primary care, evaluating whether physicians respond appropriately to poor risk factor control, in addition to assessing proportions in control, provide a broader view of the quality of care than relying solely on measures of proportions in control. Such measures could be more clinically relevant and acceptable to physicians than simply reporting levels of control.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of General Internal Medicine (DAIM) > Clinic of General Internal Medicine > Centre of Competence for General Internal Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of General Internal Medicine (DAIM) > Clinic of General Internal Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Weiler, Stefan; Aujesky, Drahomir and Rodondi, Nicolas

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

1472-6963

Publisher:

BioMed Central

Language:

English

Submitter:

Patricia Rajaonina

Date Deposited:

18 Mar 2015 13:42

Last Modified:

18 Mar 2015 13:42

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/1472-6963-14-306

PubMed ID:

25027581

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.65198

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/65198

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