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Rheumatology Quality Improvement Report

ADC Rheumatology Improving rheumatoid arthritis outcomes and preventing complications vs National average

DMARD Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis – Percentage of patients aged 18 years and older who were diagnosed with RA and were prescribed, dispensed, or administered at least one ambulatory prescription for a DMARD
TB Screen Prior to DMARD Therapy – Percentage of patients aged 18 years and older with a diagnosis of RA who have documentation of a tuberculosis (TB) screening performed and results interpreted within 6 months prior to receiving a first course of therapy using a biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD)

Improving RA Outcomes and Preventing Complications with DMARD Therapy and Tuberculosis Screens

Early diagnosis and management of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) presents an important opportunity to alter the course of this progressive disease. Treatment in the first few months after disease onset takes advantage of a window of opportunity to effectively limit structural damage to joints and improves health outcomes. AmericanCollege of Rheumatology (ACR) guidelines underscore early therapy with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARD’s).

Some DMARD’s require a screen for tuberculosis (TB) prior to treatment.  While DMARD can improve your status with RA, some do pose a risk of progression from latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) to TB disease.  As a patient safety issue, all patients being considered for biologic DMARD should receive a tuberculin skin test to rule out LTBI.

Our most recent report from September, 2012 shows The Austin Diagnostic Clinic Rheumatology patients exceed the national average in appropriate TB screens and DMARD therapy for RA.

What You Can Do

Be aware of your symptoms and make an appointment with your doctor if you have persistent discomfort and swelling in your joints.