eHealth-supported decentralized multi-disciplinary care for gout involving rheumatology, pharmacy, and dietetics: proof-of-concept study

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Abstract

Objective: To conduct quantitative and qualitative evaluation of an electronic health (eHealth)-supported decentralized multi-disciplinary care model for gout involving rheumatologists, pharmacist, and dietitian. Methods: We conducted a 12-month proof-of-concept study. Gout patients with ≥ 1 flare in the past year and serum urate (SUA) ≥ 360 μmol/L within the previous 2 months were followed by participating community rheumatologists on an as-needed basis, received monthly telephone consults with a pharmacist, and one telephone consult with a dietitian. Healthcare professionals were not co-located but had shared access to the rheumatologists’ electronic medical records (EMR) for remote communication and collaboration. In quantitative evaluation, the primary outcome was the proportion of patients with SUA < 360 μmol/L at 12 months. In qualitative evaluation, we conducted semi-structured interviews with a subset of patients and applied constructivist grounded theory to gather patients’ perspectives. Results: Overall, 35 gout patients (86% males, mean age 60.9 ± 14.9 years) participated. At 12 months, 72% of patients achieved target SUA < 360 μmol/L. Qualitative analysis of interviews with a subset of 12 patients resulted in two themes: (1) experiences with receiving care, including categories of improved knowledge about gout, receiving personalized support, and knowing someone cares, and (2) practical considerations, including categories of optimizing timing of care and coordination and accessibility. Conclusion: Our multi-method study shows that a decentralized, multi-disciplinary care for gout involving rheumatology, pharmacy, and dietetics with shared EMR access led to gout patients achieving target SUA. It was well-received by patients who perceived better education about gout and personalized care.Key Points• We demonstrated the feasibility and impact of an eHealth-supported, decentralized collaborative care model for gout involving rheumatology, pharmacy, and dietetics• Although prior multi-disciplinary models of care for gout have been reported, the novelty of our model is that healthcare providers are not co-located, lending to potential efficiencies and outreach to patients in rural areas

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Howren, A., Tsao, N. W., Choi, H. K., Shojania, K., Kydd, A., Friesen, R., … De Vera, M. A. (2019). eHealth-supported decentralized multi-disciplinary care for gout involving rheumatology, pharmacy, and dietetics: proof-of-concept study. Clinical Rheumatology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10067-019-04809-6

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