Spring 2018 (Volume 28, Number 1)
The First Canadian System-level Performance Measures for Inflammatory Arthritis
By Claire Barber, MD, PhD, FRCPC
When the Arthritis Alliance of Canada (AAC) developed an approach to Models of Care for inflammatory arthritis (IA) in 2014, a critical component of implementing this approach was evaluation. At the time, there were no existing system-level performance measures for IA care. We therefore embarked on a study to develop a set of performance measures to evaluate models of care for IA at a system level.
Through multiple rounds of an online modified-Delphi process, we gained broad input from 50 arthritis stakeholders including rheumatologists, allied health professionals, persons living with arthritis, and researchers. Participants rated the validity, feasibility, relevance and likelihood of using a proposed set of performance measures, which were identified based on a systematic review of the literature.
Six performance measures emerged for evaluating inflammatory arthritis care:
- 1) wait times for rheumatology consultation for patients with new onset IA;
- 2) percentage of IA patients seen by a rheumatologist;
- 3) percentage of IA patients seen in yearly follow-up by a rheumatologist;
- 4) percentage of rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with a disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD);
- 5) time to DMARD therapy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis;
- 6) number of rheumatologists per capita.
This constitutes the first set of system-level performance measures for evaluating models of care in IA. These can serve as an aid for health care decision-makers to identify and prioritize areas for improvement, and to measure outcomes of health system changes whose goals are to improve the care of patients with IA.
Dr. Claire Barber, Assistant Professor, Rheumatologist,
University of Calgary, Calgary, AB
Barber CE, et al. Development of system-level performance measures for evaluation of models of care for inflammatory arthritis. J Rheumatol 2016; 43:530-40.