Improving the Quality of Outpatient Care for Older Patients With Diabetes: Lessons From a Comparison of Rural and Urban Communities

Journal of Family Practice

Compares the quality of diabetic care received by patients in rural and urban communities in Washington State. Among the findings: Generalists provided most diabetic care in all locations. Patients living in small rural towns received almost half their outpatient care in larger communities. Patients living in large rural towns remote from metropolitan areas were more likely to have received the recommended tests than patients in all other groups. Patients who saw an endocrinologist at least once during the year were more likely to have received the recommended tests. Concludes that large rural towns may provide the best conditions for high-quality care-growing communities that serve as regional referral centers and have an adequate, but not excessive, supply of generalist and specialist physicians.

WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
Roger Rosenblatt, Laura-Mae Baldwin, Leighton Chan, Meredith Fordyce, Irl Hirsch, Jerry Palmer, George Wright, Gary Hart