Rural patients with diabetic foot ulcers currently face 50% higher odds of major (above-ankle) amputation and 40% higher odds of death than their urban counterparts, a health disparity identified by Dr. Meghan Brennan’s team and others. Over 70% of Wisconsin residents live in rural areas, making this a particularly important topic to address in our state.
To reduce tobacco use, we improved quit line referrals for tobacco users by 20-fold through Quit Connect, a 90-second clinic staff protocol that integrates the electronic health record with the Wisconsin tobacco quit line. This protocol is being implemented in both primary care and specialty care clinics in multiple Wisconsin health systems including Gundersen and UW Health, with a pending grant to implement at Grady Memorial public hospital in Atlanta (83% African American, 40% uninsured).
To reduce disparities in healthcare quality, we are partnering with the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality and the Collaborative Center for Health Equity to measure and publicly report on disparities in the quality of healthcare in Wisconsin.
In 2019, we will release a statewide report documenting disparities in the quality of care for health systems across Wisconsin by race, ethnicity, and payer.
Management of diabetes lies almost entirely in the hands of those who live with the condition. The Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging and the Health Innovation Program are providing individuals with diabetes the resources they need for effective self-management of their disease.