Objective: To compare the quality of care received by patients with diabetes in public primary care clinics in 2012 with that reported in 1995.
Methods: Patient records were audited at six randomly selected Type III health centres in the South East Health Region of Jamaica. The 2012 audit data were compared with published data from a similar audit conducted in 1995. Quality of care measures included timely screening tests and counselling of the patients. Fasting and postprandial glucose tests were used to assess glycaemic control.
Results: Two hundred and forty-two patient records were analysed in 2012, and 185 in 1995. In 2012, 88% of patients were weighed within the last year compared with 43% in 1995. Advice on physical activity increased from 1% to 60% and on dietary practices from 6% to 79%. No patient had done the HBA1C in 1995 compared to 38% in 2012. In 1995, 66% had blood glucose measured at a laboratory during the last year while in 2012, 60% had a laboratory test and 90% were tested at the clinic by glucometer. Blood pressure control increased from 19% in 1995 to 41% in 2012 (p < 0.001). Poor glucose control was recorded among 61% of patients in 1995 compared with 68% in 2012.
Conclusions: There was no improvement in glycaemic control. Health providers and patients must work together to improve patient outcomes. This will involve closer patient monitoring, treatment intensification where indicated, and the adoption of lifestyle practices that can lead to better control.