BACKGROUND: In recent years, most Dutch general practitioners started working under the umbrella of diabetes care groups, responsible for the organisation and coordination of diabetes care. The quality management of these new organisations receives growing interest, although its association with quality of diabetes care is yet unclear. The best way to measure quality management is unknown and it has not yet been studied at the level of outpatient clinics or care groups. We aimed to assess quality management of type 2 diabetes care in care groups and outpatient clinics.
RESULTS: Quality management was measured with online questionnaires, containing six domains (see below). They were divided into 28 subdomains, with 59 (care groups) and 57 (outpatient clinics) questions respectively. The mean score of the domains reflects the overall score (0-100%) of an organisation. Two quality managers of all Dutch care groups and outpatient clinics were invited to fill out the questionnaire.Sixty care groups (response rate 61.9%) showed a mean score of 59.6% (CI 57.1-62.1%). The average score in 52 outpatient clinics (response rate 50.0%) was 61.9% (CI 57.5-66.8%).Mean scores on the six domains for care groups and outpatient clinics respectively were: 'organisation of care' 71.9% (CI 68.8-74.9%), 76.8% (CI 72.8-80.7%); 'multidisciplinary teamwork' 67.1% (CI 62.4-71.9%), 71.5% (CI 65.3-77.8%); 'patient centeredness' 46.7% (CI 42.6-50.7%), 62.5% (CI 57.7-67.2%); 'performance management' 63.3% (CI 61.2-65.3%), 50.9% (CI 44.2-57.5%); 'quality improvement policy' 52.6% (CI 49.2-56.1%), 50.9% (CI 44.6-57.3%); and 'management strategies' 56.0% (CI 51.4-60.7%), 59.0% (CI 52.8-65.2%). On subdomains, care groups scored highest on 'care program' (83.3%) and 'measured outcomes' (98.3%) and lowest on 'patient safety' (15.1%) and 'patient involvement' (17.7%). Outpatient clinics scored high on the presence of a 'diabetic foot team' (81.6%) and the support in 'self-management' (81.0%) and low on 'patient involvement' (26.8%) and 'inspection of medical file' (28.0%).
CONCLUSIONS: This nationwide assessment reveals that the level of quality management in diabetes care varies between several subdomains in both diabetes care groups and outpatient clinics.