Delivering a one-stop, integrated, and patient-centered service for patients with rheumatic diseases
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CitationVäre Paula. Nikiphorou Elena. Hannonen Pekka. Sokka Tuulikki. (2016). Delivering a one-stop, integrated, and patient-centered service for patients with rheumatic diseases. SAGE Open Medicine, (4) , 1-7. 10.1177/2050312116654404.
To describe a one-stop, integrated rheumatology service and assess patient satisfaction.
A descriptive report and patient satisfaction survey of a rheumatology clinic model first developed in 1996 to enhance the patient “journey” through rheumatology services. A patient-satisfaction survey over a 3-week period assessed several aspects of care including quality of services, consultations, and patient education.
All referrals are screened by a rheumatologist to pre-schedule laboratory/radiology/other tests for the visit. Upon arrival to the clinic, patients check-in at an electronic desk, and then complete the electronic GoTreatIT monitoring system which assesses patient-reported outcomes. The patient is reviewed by a doctor in a 30- to 60-min consultation, and then by a nurse (for diagnosis/treatment education, vaccinations). An ultrasound machine and capillaroscopy are available for use in the clinic. Patients can be scheduled on the same day to see a nutritionist, physiotherapist, or other heath professionals as necessary. An “early-rheumatoid arthritis treatment path” is available to ensure early, intensive treatment. A patient satisfaction survey revealed high rating of the overall service (90.6/100). None of the patients felt that they lacked education on their disease or medication. Only 6% of the respondents gave negative feedback, reasons including feeling overwhelmed with information or not being given a cause for their symptoms. The multi-disciplinary approach was highly valued and only 3% would rather see a doctor and nurse on separate days.
The specific clinic model provides an ideal setting for a one-stop service, avoiding unnecessary visits, collecting patient data, and enhancing the patient experience and journey through the system. Where possible, the specific clinic model could be used or adapted to build similar models in other rheumatology departments. The clinic model could also form the basis for services in other specialties dealing with chronic conditions.