Table 3.

MAs’ Perceptions of Control Over Population Health Measures (N = 57)

Population Health MeasureaNo Control, No.A Little Control, No.Moderate Control, No.A Lot of Control, No.Complete Control, No.
Eye examination in diabetic patients  71625  5  3
BMI screening  2  313  632
Controlling high blood pressure  4  824  910
Screening for depression  2  4  51925
Use of imaging for low back pain35  7  7  5  0
Influenza vaccination  0  3  82421
Tobacco screening  0  2  42229
Breast cancer screening  6102014  6
Colorectal cancer screening  3142311  5
Pneumococcal vaccination for adultsb  0  3142118
Good control of A1c in diabetic patients  51618  9  8
  • BMI = body mass index; MA = medical assistant.

  • Note: Values are numbers of MAs.

  • a These measures were selected because of their inclusion in a national pay-for-performance program, ready measurability using the population health software at 2 organizations (Healthy Planet, Epic Systems), relative commonality across institutions, and diversity in associated disease and clinician roles involved in improving the measure. For example, physicians are expected to control placing imaging orders for low back pain,35 so this measure is included as a comparator.

  • b Although pneumococcal vaccination guidelines call for multiple doses,36,37 achieving the national measurement is based on a single dose; thus, vaccinations can also be considered a specific type of same-day measure, although they are analyzed independently.