New directions in diabetes care project funded by Physicians' Foundation for Health Systems Excellence

San Francisco 07 November 2005The California Academy of Family Physicians Foundation (CAFP-F) is the recipient of a three-year, $500.000 grant from Physicians' Foundation for Health Systems Excellence. CAFP-F will conduct a chronic illness care and practice improvement project, New Directions in Diabetes Care (NDCC). The project will feature on-line learning systems and "collaboratories", a learning concept that utilizes intensive in-person and virtual training experiences for 15-20 teams of small family physician practices (1-8 physicians and support staff) over 18 months.


Small physician practices are seldom included in quality improvement projects of this type; consequently they often lack the resources and training to make the critical clinical and systems improvements needed for improving outcomes in patients with diabetes.

Working in partnership with the California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP), CAFP-F will conduct three consecutive collaboratories focused on achieving significant improvements in such patient outcomes as A1C, LDL cholesterol and blood pressure levels. The collaboratory trainings will assist family physicians and their team members to address the racial and ethnic health disparities associated with Type 2 diabetes and obesity, and encourage them to adopt office process re-design features, such as patient registries, electronic health records, and team-based care.

CAFP-F is the first state speciality organisation to undertake such a direct intervention in the improvement of patient care in members' practices. If this model proves successful, it will be applied to other chronic disease states and spread throughout the membership. This project is part of the effort to encourage family physicians' adoption of the New Model of Care proposed in the American Academy of Family Physicians' Future of Family Medicine Report.

The California Medical Association Foundation (CMA-F) will serve as a subcontractor on this project. CMA-F will conduct three collaboratives in rural California counties among small primary care physician practices, and will include a focus on the specific needs of underserved minority patients with diabetes. Otherwise, CMA-F will utilize the same care model change package and measurements as CAFP-F. Best practices identified through the project will be shared between and among the groups.

New Directions in Diabetes Care has the potential to reach more than 15.000 primary care physicians across the state. Successfully modelling direct interventions for needed changes in physicians' offices by a speciality and medical society partnership will serve as an example and encouragement for others to take similar actions to improve patient care, physician and patient satisfaction, and address racial and ethnic disparities in chronic care.

The California Academy of Family Physicians Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the California Academy of Family Physicians, the 7000 member professional association of residency-trained, board-certified family medicine physicians.

Leslie Versweyveld

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