Chronic diseases and conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems. Much of the illness, suffering, and early death related to chronic diseases and conditions are related to four health risk behaviors that are preventable – lack of exercise/physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption.
The quality of health management for individual patients and the population as a whole benefit from consistent attention to these and other routine preventive health measures. This is captured in the population health component of the triple aim – improving the experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing per capita costs of healthcare. It is standard practice in primary care to include these items in the clinical encounter. Providers of The CHP Group (CHP) perform more than 200,000 patient visits every year and each visit presents an opportunity to deliver a preventive health message.
Results of CHP’s CQII
A CQII was implemented to measure the effectiveness of mailing specific, evidence-based advisories to improve the inclusion of the following seven preventive health measures in the clinical encounter of CHP naturopathic, chiropractic, and acupuncture providers:
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol use
- Exercise habits
- Stress level
- Dietary habits
- Known allergies
The intervention group was comprised of those who included four or fewer of the seven measures. Significant improvement for each of the seven components was demonstrated and overall 86% of the intervention group scored higher. The relevance of this outcome demonstrates the capacity of our integrative healthcare (IH) providers to improve their contribution to the health of individuals and populations through the use of evidence-based educational advisories.