Effects of Patient-Initiated Visits on Patient Satisfaction and Clinical Outcomes in a Type 1 Diabetes Outpatient Clinic: A 2-Year Randomized Controlled Study

Nina Drøjdahl Ryg*, Jeppe Gram, Maryam Haghighi, Claus Bogh Juhl

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We investigated the effects of replacing regular outpatient follow-up through prescheduled visits with patient-initiated visits on patient satisfaction and clinical variables of type 1 diabetes (T1D).

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A 24-month randomized controlled trial in which adults with T1D were allocated to either patient-initiated unlimited access to outpatient visits or usual care through regular prescheduled visits. The primary outcome was seven patient-reported experience measures of patient satisfaction focused on benefit of consultation and accessibility of the outpatient clinic. Secondary outcomes included clinical variables of diabetes and use of staff resources.

RESULTS: We enrolled 357 outpatients (intervention, n = 178; control, n = 179). After 24 months, participants in the intervention group experienced more benefit from consultations compared with baseline within groups (P < 0.05) and fewer unnecessary visits compared with control subjects (P < 0.05). Patient needs covered and satisfaction with the outpatient clinic were high and unchanged in both groups, and accessibility was increased (three questions, all P < 0.05). A calculated seven-item patient satisfaction sum score favored the intervention group over control subjects (P < 0.001). There were no significant changes in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), LDL, blood pressure, and complication status. The mean number of outpatient visits over 24 months (± SD) was lower in the intervention group compared with control subjects (4.4 ± 2.8 vs. 6.3 ± 2.7; P < 0.001), while the number of telephone contacts was higher (3.1 ±3.4 vs. 2.5 ± 3.2; P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Patient satisfaction remained high or improved with patient-initiated on-demand use of the diabetes outpatient clinic, with no decline in the quality of diabetes care, and a reduction in the use of staff resources.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetes Care
Volume44
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)2277-2285
ISSN0149-5992
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

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