Rheumatology Virtual Clinic - right patient, right place, right time
Whilst recent advances in therapies and approach to treatment have revolutionised the management of inflammatory arthritis (IA) over the last decade, models of care for this chronic disease have not progressed.
Systems remain inflexible and unresponsive to the needs of many patients. The need for long-term follow-up and supervision of specialist therapies has increased demand and complexity of care, increasing pressure on services. This is further exacerbated by an inflexible clinic system that does not support a “systematic patient-centred approach” to follow-up.
Many of the systems improvements needed to transform models of care in chronic diseases can now be facilitated through the development of innovative e-Health solutions. New approaches to managing increased demand within the service are essential to continue to provide high-quality, flexible, safe care that meets national quality standards.
The Kellgren Centre for Rheumatology therefore wants to develop a more patient-centred rheumatology service. The proposed e-Health solution will facilitate “remote” or “virtual” patient follow-up, connecting rheumatology patients to their healthcare professionals from home or work. Clinicians and AHP’s will have 24/7 access, via a secure internet website, to a wide range of trended reports offering information comparable to the current face to face consultation.
The overarching aim of this e-health quality improvement project is to improve disease and symptom control in patients with IA whilst reducing pressure on clinics. The result will be a safe, high-quality, flexible, patient-centred and cost-effective service that will improve patient experience.