Session Type: ACR Poster Session A
Session Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM
Background/Purpose: Regional primary care rheumatology networks of health professionals (HPs) are instituted to improve the quality of care for patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). The aim was to describe their characteristics, the success and failure factors, and the satisfaction of patients treated by network members in the Netherlands.
Methods: Data on the organizational structure and processes, education, patient load, perceived success / failure factors, and organizational / educational needs were collected by interviewing 19 existing network coordinators, and an online surveys among all members A maximum of 4 patients per member were asked to complete an online survey comprising the Consumer Quality Index (CQ) subscales Information, Attitude of HPs, and Cooperation and Self-management (range 1-4), and a Numeric Rating Scale on therapy satisfaction (range 1-10).
Results: 17 networks set membership criteria, 5 had a formal organizational structure, 7 imposed a membership fee, 17 collaborated with a hospital rheumatology department, 15 included only physical therapists, 18 organized network meetings for professionals and 11 for patients. There were 479 network members (median 18 per network, range 7-106). All coordinators expressed the need for central support regarding network organization and activities. Of 256 responders 54 (21%) did not completed the survey because they had not seen patients with RMDs in the past year. 214 network members (50%) completed the survey, 82 (38%) followed accredited postgraduate education on RMDs, whereas 159 (74%) expressed a need for standardization of postgraduate education and organizational support. The most frequently mentioned success factors were: patient satisfaction, presence of diagnostic and treatment protocols and the organization of meetings, whereas failure factors mentioned were: low patient load, poor visibility, suboptimal communication with rheumatologists and patients, and a lack of affordable and (continuing) postgraduate education. The 149 patients who returned the survey were highly satisfied: CQ Information 3.8 (SD 0.3); Attitude of health professionals 3.9 (SD 0.3); and Cooperation and Self-management 3.5 (SD 0.5), satisfaction mean score was 8.7 (SD 0.8).
Conclusion: Structure and process of regional primary care networks focusing on the management of patients with RMDs shows considerable variation. Although added value with respect to patient satisfaction is plausible, there is a need for support of regional networks on the national level, standardization of postgraduate education, improvement of communication with rheumatologists and patients and their visibility. This study was financially supported by the Dutch Arthritis Association.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Peter W, van der Giesen F, van den Ende CHM, Dekker J, Vliet Vlieland TPM. Regional Primary Care Rheumatology Networks for Patients with Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases: Need for a National Approach [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016; 68 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/regional-primary-care-rheumatology-networks-for-patients-with-rheumatic-and-musculoskeletal-diseases-need-for-a-national-approach/. Accessed December 1, 2022.
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