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Winter 2020 (Volume 30, Number 4)

Quality Care Committee Update

By Amanda Steiman, MD, MSc, FRCPC

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Writing about the Quality Care Committee’s 2020 year in review demands reflecting on a year that has fundamentally changed the fabric of our society and the way we live. The pandemic has upended the way we interact, practice medicine, learn, and teach. I both marvel and cringe at how close we were to the edge of the pandemic precipice as we socialized, celebrated and learned together at the CRA Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) in Victoria.

Winston Churchill is credited with saying that one should “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Indeed, this sentiment has never rung more true, as members of the Quality Care Committee have worked to simultaneously usher pre-pandemic initiatives through a changed world, and pivot to others that focus on virtual care delivery in the context of the traditionally high-touch/low-tech specialty that we love.

I want to take a moment to laud Cheryl Barnabe’s outstanding and sustained leadership as past Quality Care Committee Chair, and her ongoing work as the Equity Subcommittee Chair. She wears impossibly big shoes to fill with both exceptional poise and measured tenacity, and we have all benefitted from her vision and determination. Claire Barber and Shirley Chow continue to lead the Quality and Resource Stewardship Subcommittees, respectively, and I continue to lead Access.

It has been a year that has highlighted the power of collaboration on many fronts, with continued delivery of Indigenous Health Education sessions, continued work on generation of a Quality Report Card for rheumatologic care, and collaboration on rheumatoid arthritis guideline development with a focus on equity for marginalized/ at-risk patient populations. Collaborations with the Education Committee have resulted in pragmatic guidance, shared with members via the CRA COVID portal and through presentations on return-to-work strategies in the setting of COVID-19. Finally, in collaboration with the Pediatrics Committee, we have embarked on work to improve awareness and bolster support for transition to adult care, with a publication outlining the results of a needs assessment exercise and next steps forward, in press. We look forward to fruitful multi-committee collaboration in building a Telemedicine Working Group, born out of collaboration between the Quality Care and Pediatrics committees, which will strive to deliver pragmatic and, to the extent possible, evidence-based guidance and support to CRA members in care delivery through these unprecedented times.

We will continue to work and grow and learn in the setting of this most unwelcome global turn of events, with a steadfast commitment to the quality of care we deliver – under any circumstances – to patients with rheumatic diseases.

Amanda Steiman, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Chair, CRA Quality Care Committee
Assistant Professor of Medicine,
University of Toronto
Clinician in Quality and Innovation
Rheumatologist,
Sinai Health System/University Health Network
Toronto, Ontario



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