Principal Investigator: Baiju R. Shah (Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences)
Diabetes is a common and serious chronic disease. However, there is a large gap between the leve of care that people should receive and the level of care they actually receive. With the release of their 2008 Clinical Practice Guidelines, the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) has a strategy to improve heart disease screening and treatment for people with diabetes. This study will evaluate whether the strategy works.
The CDA’s strategy begins in 2009. The focus of the strategy is to give all family physicians in Canada two tools to help them deliver better care for patients with diabetes: 1) a short checklist on how to test for and treat heart disease; and 2) a four-page synopsis of the Clinical Practice Guidelines.
We will do three studies to measure the effectiveness of this strategy:
- Looking at the quality of care received by patients by examining their charts kept by their family doctors.
- Looking at health care system data from the Ministry of Health to see if there is an increase or decrease of heart tests, referrals to cardiologists, or prescriptions of heart disease medications for patients with diabetes over time.
- Gathering focus groups of family doctors to find out whether the CDA’s tools are acceptance and usable.
Diabetes is associated with very high rates of heart disease, but risk factors are not treated aggressively enough. Therefore, the potential impact of improved detection and treatment of heart disease is enormous.