"The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through." -- Sydney J. Harris

2015 Health Care Quality Report Highlights Improvement in Follow-up Depression Care

Thousands more Minnesotans received the health care they needed during the past year, thanks to improvements made by clinics across Minnesota. This progress is charted in MN Community Measurement’s 2015 Health Care Quality Report, now in its twelfth consecutive year of publication.

In addition to ongoing reporting of clinic and medical group performance for 32 clinical quality measures, two Total Cost of Care measures, results on the Health Information Technology (HIT) Survey, Patient Experience of Care Survey, and hospital measures the 2015 report includes five new measures: Pediatric Preventive Care – Adolescent Mental Health and/or Depression Screenings, Pediatric Preventive Care – Overweight Counseling, Spinal Surgery – Lumbar Discectomy/Laminotomy, Spinal Surgery – Lumbar Fusion and Total Knee Replacement.

More than 300 medical groups and 1,600 clinics are registered to submit data to MN Community Measurement (MNCM). The annual Health Care Quality Report is a compilation of all measures publicly reported by MNCM during the year. Individual medical group results are available year-round at

Improvements in Follow-up Depression Care

A growing number of patients in Minnesota with depression are receiving critical follow-up care and showed signs of improvement due to treatment. At least 3,200 additional patients with a diagnosis of major depression of dysthymia completed the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) tool six months after beginning treatment and at least 2,300 completed the PHQ-9 12 months after beginning treatment.

“Follow-up is a critical part of depression care and treatment, because depression can cause people to isolate themselves and stop reaching out for care – often when they need it most,” explained Jim Chase, President of MNCM. “Depression is a treatable medical condition and most people who seek treatment can get better”

The percentage of patients in Minnesota receiving critical follow-up care for depression at six and 12 months both increased three percentage points between 2014 and 2015.

The highest performing medical group for PHQ-9 Follow-up at Six Months was Entira Family Clinics with 58 percent. The highest performing medical group for PHQ-9 Follow-Up at 12 Months was Essentia Health – Fosston with 48 percent. This medical group also had the greatest improvement in PHQ-9 Follow-up at 12 months from last year, with an increase of 25 percentage points.

Other noteworthy results highlighted in the 2015 Health Care Quality Report include:

  • Immunization for Adolescents increased by 14 percentage points, translating into 3,000 more adolescents receiving recommend vaccinations during 2015 than the year before. This increase continued an upward trend over the past two years.
  • More than 34 percent of adults, a five percentage point increase, were NOT prescribed antibiotics for bronchitis, which is the recommended treatment. Overuse of antibiotics can results in resistance to medication.
  • More than 50 percent of patients with diabetes received care to help them optimally manage their condition last year.
  • A total of 71 percent of adults were up to date with appropriate colorectal cancer screening exams, translating into more than 11,000 additional adults being screened for colorectal cancer.

Review the full 2015 Health Care Quality Report for additional details including clinic performance highlights by region and over time.