Table 5

Good practice interventions relevant to the three disease stages of patients with RA

InterventionDefinitionSuspected RARecently diagnosed with RAEstablished RA/structural damage
Rapid access to careFast-track access to care for patients with RA done via online referral form reviewed every 24 hours, hotline leading to appointments within 48 hours for diagnostic services including blood tests and joint imagingXXX
Enhanced communication across wider care teamAvailability of reliable communication channels (eg, emails, online forms) enabling easy dialogue between specialists and PCPs; and providing and coordinating education programmes to ensure the wider care team are kept up-to-date with developments in best practice careXXX
Early arthritic clinicClinic dedicated to ensuring timely clinical assessment and diagnosis of patients with suspected RAXX
Comprehensive comorbidity assessmentComorbidity assessment in patient baseline assessment and follow-up of newly diagnosed patientsXXX
Tailored education to patients and family membersProgrammes to increase understanding of diagnosis, treatment plans, and how to live with the disease that is sensitive to individual patient needsX
Role of the care coordinatorCare coordinator role to help to manage the burden of navigating contacts across multiple HCPsXX
Dedicated comorbidity specialist HCPSpecific role or clinic to support the management of comorbidities in the context of RAXX
Enabling self-managementProvision of tools and resources to patients to monitor and manage their RA and reduce dependence on healthcare servicesXX
Enhanced therapy servicesAdditional care centred around non-physician-led management including care led by therapists to promote rehabilitation and enablementX
Day clinic servicesThe coordination of services enabling provision of stacked outpatient appointments across specialities and disciplines over 1 day or sessionXXX
Virtual engagement with patientsDigital enablement of autonomy, self-management and empowerment by providing a channel of direct communication with attending physicians in addition to online access to education around the disease, networks and peer supportXXX
Integrating patient registries into daily clinical practiceEmployment of evidence-based practice, informed by clinical research and supported by systematic capture and monitoring of data, in order to improve the quality of clinical care delivery and promote evolution of care modelsXXX
Patient-centred care journeyCuration of care processes and physical environment that enables the patient to feel empowered and supported during their journey through careXXX
Effectively using the skill mix of the multidisciplinary care teamEnablement of non-physician HCPs to taking on greater responsibility in the assessment and management of patientsXXX
Integrative and shared care solutionsEnsuring regular communication between all attending physicians and other HCPs as part of a holistic and integrated approach to careXXX
Collaborating with PAGsIncreasing communication with local and regional patient advocacy groups through working group sessions, conference attendance, newsletters and patient liaisonsXXX
Developing care networksDeveloping networks with community-based RA services to maintain high-quality ‘joined-up’ care past the point of dischargeXXX
Quality management programmesA coordinated approach and a robust system for measuring, tracking and improving the quality of careXXX
  • HCPs, healthcare professionals; PAGs, patient advocacy groups; PCPs, primary care professionals; RA, rheumatoid arthritis.