General practice management of type 2 diabetes

A quality improvement program relevant to diabetes care
☰ Table of contents

Accreditation against the RACGP’s Standards for general practices, 4th edn, requires a commitment to quality improvement from a general practice. This can involve examining practice structures, systems and clinical care. Using practice data to identify areas in need of improvement is one way to achieve this.

Clinical audit software tools are widely available to assist practices to evaluate clinical outcomes for patients with diabetes. Audit information can be used to improve management of patients with diabetes on many levels. For example, patients can be identified on the basis of:

  • incomplete information such as no smoking status, no recent blood pressure (BP) or glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) reading
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status
  • the presence of other risk factors such as HbA1c >75 mmol/mol (9%),microalbuminuria or comorbidities
  • outstanding diabetes cycle of care items
  • recent hospitalisation
  • existing complications or comorbidities.

To help practices start quality improvement activities, the RACGP is developing a core set of clinical indicators to support care evaluation. This is supported with the RACGP’s Practice guides and tools for clinical indicators.

Four of these indicators are relevant to diabetes care:

Indicator number



Practice infrastructure to support safety and quality of patient care


Assessment of absolute cardiovascular risk


Screening for retinopathy in patients with diabetes


Screening for nephropathy in high-risk patients (including diabetes)

Use of clinical indicators to assess care is advised but entirely voluntary.


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