This is a demonstration project of electronic patient generated data for point of care reporting in the management of rheumatoid arthritis.
Most patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) experience a chronic, fluctuating course of disease that despite therapy, may result in progressive joint destruction, disability and premature death. Medical guidelines for the monitoring and treatment of patients with RA clearly specify that the continuous evaluation of disease status and activity is a necessary component of care. This evaluation includes the documentation of function (e.g. problems with activities of daily living), pain and overall health status which are reported by the patient. Advances in computer and communication technologies now allow for the collection of patient information using a computerized questionnaire and also provide the ability to immediately generate a report that summarizes the questionnaire information over time.
We have created a computerized questionnaire for patients with RA and we have tested it in one rheumatology office. We determined that this tool helped the patients to describe their current health situation, reduced the time that is used for routine tasks (e.g. listing medications), and allowed the patient and their doctor to focus on their most important concerns. We would now like to test this tool in a variety of rheumatology offices using their existing equipment. The success of this project will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of rheumatology care across Canada by providing patients and their rheumatologists with an easy tool for monitoring disease activity and response to treatment.
Canadian Institutes for Health Research