Conference Organization and Objectives
Assessing Quality of Care for Diabetes: Conference Final Report
As discussed here, there are many remaining challenges in the valid and effective measurement of diabetes quality, as well as in the improvement of metabolic, blood pressure, and lipid control for patients with diabetes. Therefore, the Michigan Diabetes Research & Training Center's (MDRTC) Measurement Core, the Veterans Health Administration's (VHA) Quality Enhancement Research Initiative for Diabetes (QUERI-DM), and the Center for Health Policy Research, University of California, Irvine, organized a national multidisciplinary conference on diabetes quality measurement. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and the VA's Office of Quality and Performance provided support for the conference.
The conference brought together 40 scientific and clinical experts in the fields of diabetes and quality measurement, to review the state of the art in diabetes epidemiology and quality measurement, discuss necessary next steps for measurement development, and plan essential research for improving technical and interpersonal quality measurement. The ultimate goal of the conference was to improve diabetes outcomes.
The conference built upon the mission and working relationships already established through the National Diabetes Quality Improvement Alliance,® expanded the discussion by addressing recent research and clinical findings and essential issues of measurement science, and focused on developing and testing new measures designed to further improve diabetes outcomes. While the main focus of the conference was on assessment of technical quality, many of the scientific issues discussed span technical and interpersonal quality assessment. The organizers of this conference sought to set the stage for inclusion of more measures that assess self-management support and interpersonal quality of diabetes care.
Specifically, the conference objectives were to:
- Bring together scientific and clinical experts in the fields of diabetes and quality measurement.
- Review the state of the art in diabetes epidemiology and quality measurement science.
- Recommend and plan essential research for improving technical and interpersonal quality measurement.
- Provide recommendations regarding new measures of technical and interpersonal quality (or refinement of current measures).
- Disseminate conference conclusions.
The 2-day conference was held May 24-25, 2006 in Ann Arbor, MI. The conference consisted of a series of presentations by national experts in measurement science, epidemiology, and diabetes clinical care. There was ample opportunity discussion. Speakers were selected on the basis of their national reputation and expertise in the topic areas. Our goal was to include experts with a variety of perspectives in order to make the conference constructive and inclusive.
Speakers and participants included key representatives from specialty societies (including the American Medical Association, the American Diabetes Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, and others) and measurement groups (including the National Committee for Quality Assurance, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations).
Our planning committee* helped to structure the agenda and nominated speakers and discussants for the proposed topics. The conference organizers talked by phone with each of the speakers prior to the conference to discuss conference objectives and goals, as well as the specific goals for each session. The conference organizers also spoke by phone with each assigned moderator. In addition, all participants received a CD-ROM approximately 2 weeks before the conference with conference objectives, questions for each session, and selected readings and publications.