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Chronic Care Model helps improve people's health and care
Date:1/6/2009

SEATTLEEd Wagner, MD, MPH, knew there had to be a better way. He and Group Health colleagues set out 15 years ago to explore how best to engage patients with chronic diseases in effective care. With Robert Wood Johnson Foundation support, they developed the Chronic Care Model. More than 1,500 U.S. and international medical practices have adopted the Model. Now the largest roundup of evidence on how the Model performs in practice confirms that it works. This review is in the January/February 2009 issue of Health Affairs, focused on a key part of reforming health care: caring for chronic diseases in a "fragmented" health care system.

"Like an auto body shop, U.S. health care is set up for quick fixes to acute problems," said lead author Katie Coleman, MSPH, a research associate at Group Health Center for Health Studies. "But for chronic problems, this can be expensive, ineffective, and inefficient." The Chronic Care Model is a framework to redesign daily medical practice. It aims to transform the health care system from acute and reactive to proactive and plannedand based more on evidence about populations, less on habit. Chronic diseases include diabetes, depression, and asthma. The world's main cause of death and disability, they are becoming more common as populations age.

"Redesigning medical practices according to the Model generally improved health care and helped patients control a broad range of chronic diseases," Coleman said. Reviewing 82 studies published since 2000, she found the Model helped people stay healthier and get better care.

"The Chronic Care Model has been adopted more widely than we ever dreamed," said Wagner, a review co-author. He directs the MacColl Institute for Healthcare Innovation at Group Health Center for Health Studies. The Model guides quality improvement efforts based nationally, regionally, and in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and North Carolina. "We felt obliged to see if the accumulating eviden
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Contact: Rebecca Hughes
hughes.r@ghc.org
206-287-2055
Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies
Source:Eurekalert

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