Effectiveness of outreach to patients with diabetes who have fallen out of regular care at a federally qualified health center

Vanessa Ramirez-Zohfeld*, Muriel Jean-Jacques, Kate Sanserino, David Buchanan, David W. Baker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Re-engaging patients who have fallen out of regular care is a challenge for all primary care practices, but especially for federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). We implemented and evaluated a system of proactive telephone and mail outreach within an FQHC serving a predominantly Latino and Spanish-speaking population for patients with diabetes who had not had a visit to the health center for at least six months. The primary study outcome was the proportion of patients who completed a follow-up visit within three months of the outreach. We also examined patient characteristics associated with completing a follow-up visit. Of 208 patients eligible for outreach, 24% (n549) completed a follow-up visit. Thirty-six percent (n574) had a disconnected or incorrect phone number, 16% (n534) were not reached within three phone call attempts, and 20% (n522) of letters mailed were returned to sender. Future efforts to re-engage patients in diabetes care should examine shorter intervals before outreach and other outreach strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1036-1047
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012

Keywords

  • Diabetes
  • Federally qualified health center
  • Out of care
  • Outreach
  • Quality improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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