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Improving Quality of Care in Rheumatoid Arthritis Through Mobile Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement: Focus Group Study


JMIR Form Res. 2020 May 27;4(3):e15158. doi: 10.2196/15158.

Sonali Desai # 1, Emma Stevens 1, Srinivas Emani 2, Peter Meyers 3, Maura Iversen 4, Daniel H Solomon 5

Author Information

1 Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, United States.

2 Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, United States.

3 Partners Healthcare, Boston, MA, United States.

4 Department of Physical Therapy, Movement & Rehabilitation Services, Bouve College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, United States.

5 Division of Rheumatology, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, United States.

#Contributed equally.

Free article


Background: Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) for chronic disease management can be integrated into the routine workflow by leveraging mobile technology.

Objective: The objective of our study was to describe the process of our quality improvement (QI) efforts using tablets for PRO collection in a busy, academic rheumatology practice to support a treat-to-target (TTT) approach for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) management.

Methods: Our QI team designed a process for routine collection of PROs for RA patients at the Arthritis Center, employing information technology and an electronic medical record (EMR) system. Patients received a tablet at the clinic check-in desk to complete the Routine Assessment of Patient Index Data 3 (RAPID3) survey, a validated RA PRO. RAPID3 scores were uploaded to the EMR in real time and available for use in shared decision making during routine office visits. Weekly data were collected on RAPID3 completion rates and shared with front desk staff and medical assistants to drive improvement. Patients in our patient family advisory council and focus groups provided informal feedback on the process.

Results: From May 1, 2017, to January 31, 2019, a total of 4233 RAPID3 surveys were completed by 1691 patients. The mean age of patients was 63 (SD 14) years; 84.00% (1420/1691) of the patients were female, and 83.00% (1403/1691) of the patients were white. The rates of RAPID3 completion increased from 14.3% (58/405) in May 2017 to 68.00% (254/376) in September 2017 and were sustained over time through January 2019. Informal feedback from patients was positive and negative, relating to the usability of the tablet and the way rheumatologists used and explained the RAPID3 data in shared decision making during the office visit.

Conclusions: We designed a sustainable and reliable process for collecting PROs from patients with RA in the waiting room and integrated these data through the EMR during office visits.