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Implementation and Evaluation of Audit and Feedback for Monitoring Treat-to-Target (T2T) Strategies in Rheumatoid Arthritis Using Performance Measures

Author

Rheumatol Ther. 2020 Oct 9. doi: 10.1007/s40744-020-00237-0. Online ahead of print.

Claire E H Barber 1 2 3, Dianne Mosher 4, Shawn Dowling 4, Victoria Bohm 4, Nathan M Solbak 4, Paul MacMullan 4, Bo Pan 5, Cheryl Barnabe 4 6 7, Glen S Hazlewood 4 6 7, Karen L Then 8, Deborah A Marshall 4 6 7, James A Rankin 8, Linda C Li 7 9, Karen Tsui 10, Kelly English 10, Joanne Homik 11, Nicole Spencer 4, Marc Hall 8, Diane Lacaille 7 12

Author Information

1 Department of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada. cehbarbe@ucalgary.ca.

2 Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada. cehbarbe@ucalgary.ca.

3 Arthritis Research Canada, Richmond, BC, Canada. cehbarbe@ucalgary.ca.

4 Department of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.

5 Epidemiology Coordinating and Research Centre (EPICORE), Edmonton, AB, Canada.

6 Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.

7 Arthritis Research Canada, Richmond, BC, Canada.

8 Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.

9 Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

10 Arthritis Patient Advisory Board, Richmond, BC, Canada.

11 Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

12 Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Abstract

Introduction: In collaboration with the Alberta Medical Association's Physician Learning Program we developed individualized physician reports and held a group feedback session on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) performance measures (PM) to facilitate treat-to-target (T2T) strategies and evaluated physician experiences with this process.

Methods: 5 PMs addressing T2T concepts from an established Canadian quality framework were operationalized for physician practice reports at 2 university-affiliated rheumatology clinics. Rheum4U, a quality improvement and research platform, was the data source. The audit results were reviewed in a facilitated group feedback session. Rheumatologists provided experiential feedback on the process through survey and/or an interview. Transcripts from interviews were analyzed using a 6-step thematic analysis.

Results: 11 of 12 eligible rheumatologists consented to receive practice reports and provided feedback through surveys (n = 5) and interviews (n = 6). The practice reports from Rheum4U (n = 448 patients) revealed high rates of yearly follow-up (> 85%, PM1) and 100% performance on documentation of disease activity at ≥ 50% of visits (PM2). Only 34% of patients were seen within 3 months if not in remission (PM3) with 62% (2017) and 69% (2018) of those with active RA achieving a LDA state within 6 months (PM4). Approximately 70% of patients were in remission at any time point (PM5). All survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed comparison to peers was valuable and helped them reflect on their practice. Several strategies for improvement were identified, including but not limited to, leveraging of electronic records for future audit and feedback reports, providing additional granularity of results, additional stratification of results, and using high-performing peers as the comparator rather than the group mean.

Conclusions: Audit and feedback was perceived by clinicians as a useful strategy for evaluating T2T efforts in RA. Future work will focus on longitudinal evaluation of the clinical impact of this quality improvement initiative.