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Open Access Research article

Impact of care management processes and integration of care on blood pressure control in diabetes

Ken Wong1, Luke Boulanger2, Amy Smalarz2, Ning Wu2, Kimberly Fraser2 and Jenifer Wogen3*

Author Affiliations

1 Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, One Health Plaza, East Hanover, NJ 07936, USA

2 United Biosource Corporation, 430 Bedford Street Suite 300, Lexington, MA 02420, USA

3 MedMentis Consulting LLC, 145 Waughaw Road, Towaco, NJ 07082, USA

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BMC Family Practice 2013, 14:30  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-14-30

Published: 27 February 2013

Abstract

Background

Fragmentation within health care systems may negatively impact the quality of chronic disease patient care. We sought to evaluate the relationship between care management processes (CMP), integration of services, and blood pressure (BP) control among diabetic patients.

Methods

Retrospective chart reviews were performed for a random sample of adult diabetic hypertensive patients (n = 2,162) from 28 physician organizations in the United States (US). A modified version of the Physician Practice Connection Readiness Survey (PPC-RS) was completed by the chief medical officer at each site. The PPC-RS measured health system organization, delivery system redesign, decision support, clinical information systems, and self-management support, and an integration scale measured structure, functions, and financial risk. Correlations between PPC and integration scores and BP outcomes were assessed using Spearman correlation coefficients.

Results

Approximately 39.9% of diabetic patients had controlled BP. Mean total PPC score across sites was 55, with highest mean scores for health system organization (81), followed by design support (60), clinical information systems (57), self-management support (39), and delivery system redesign (39). Mean integration score was 46 (SD 27, range 4–93), and means of subscores were 64 for structure, 33 for financial risk, and 42 for function. Clinical information systems subscore was correlated with uncontrolled BP (r = −0.38, p < 0.05), while association with total PPC score was strong but not significant at p < 0.05 (r = −0.32). Total integration score and the structure subscore were significantly correlated with BP control (r = 0.38, p < 0.05, and r = 0.49, p < 0.01).

Conclusions

This study suggests that CMP and service integration may be associated with better outcomes in diabetes, though results were mixed and limited by a small number of participating sites. Primary care implementation of integrated electronic medical records may have a beneficial effect on patient outcomes for diabetes and other chronic diseases.