American College of Rheumatology Launches New Toolkit Aimed at Measuring Rheumatoid Arthritis Outcomes
August 9, 2023 | ACR News
ATLANTA — The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is excited to announce the launch of its brand-new Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Measures Toolkit. In recent years, the landscape of RA care has witnessed remarkable progress, greatly improving outcomes for patients living with this chronic condition. The key to this success: vigilant monitoring of disease activity and functional status, which has enabled rheumatologists to tailor therapies and optimize treatment outcomes. The new RA Measures Toolkit will help rheumatologists and their practices harness the power of standardized RA outcome measures.
“There are currently no national resources available for rheumatologists that guide the effective implementation, collection, and use of disease activity and functional status outcomes for people with RA,” said Jinoos Yazdany, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine and Chief of Rheumatology at San Francisco General Hospital, University of California, San Francisco and one of the lead authors of the RA Measures Toolkit. “We wanted to develop a tool that allows our community to share best practices and innovations in collecting RA outcomes.”
The toolkit includes a wealth of resources like training guides for nurses and medical assistants who are administering RA outcome surveys (e.g., RAPID-3, PROMIS-PF or patient global assessments), copies of the ACR recommended RA outcome measures (including versions in Spanish and Chinese), sample workflows that rheumatologists are using in different electronic health record systems, and videos featuring best practices from rheumatologists with highly effective strategies for collecting RA measures.
The toolkit also includes guidance on utilizing the ACR’s RISE registry, a powerful tool for tracking performance on the collection of RA measures. With RISE, rheumatologists can effectively monitor and evaluate the implementation of RA measures in their practice and track performance in the Quality Payment Program (QPP).
The new toolkit is not just an asset when it comes to providing rheumatologists with standardized outcome measures for assessing disease activity and functional status for people with RA, it’s also helpful for training medical staff on collecting RA outcome measures.
“Collecting RA outcome measures accurately and efficiently requires a team-based approach that includes nursing staff. Proper training of staff ensures that surveys are administered accurately and consistently, leading to reliable data collection,” said Yazdany. “Moreover, training can help staff engage patients, emphasizing the importance of collecting this information. By providing training materials for staff, the toolkit saves time and allows rheumatologists to focus on taking care of patients.”
The authors of the toolkit interviewed dozens of rheumatologists and their staff to gather best practices and innovations for collecting RA outcomes.
“The information gathered in the toolkit allows our community to learn from both the successes and challenges encountered by our colleagues. The toolkit includes examples of successful clinic workflows, tips for efficient RA outcome measure collection, as well as interviews with high-performing practices,” said Dr. Yazdany.
About the American College of Rheumatology
Founded in 1934, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is a not-for-profit, professional association committed to advancing the specialty of rheumatology that serves nearly 8,500 physicians, health professionals, and scientists worldwide. In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care. Rheumatology professionals are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases.