The use of databases for quality assessment in rheumatoid arthritis

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2007 Nov-Dec;25(6 Suppl 47):82-5.


As resources in health care systems become increasingly scarce, rheumatologists may need to provide evidence that their quality of care uses the allocated resources effectively by achieving a good outcome for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In order to assess quality, it has been recommended in other areas of medicine to gather data according to appropriate outcome measures, preferably in electronic databases, enabling identification of benchmarks to compare the outcome quality of different clinical settings. Available electronic applications commonly comprise a database for data processing and storage, as well as a tool for regularly measuring and following disease activity in individual patients. Access to aggregated data makes it possible to monitor disease activity in individual patients over time in relation to treatment. In addition, electronic applications should allow the extraction of patient data according to special characteristics for analysis. In this way, such electronic applications can provide a central database that can be used for monitoring patients in routine care, case studies or general research, as well as facilitating comparisons of quality of care in different centres or in different countries for reference purposes.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • Databases as Topic*
  • Electronics, Medical
  • Humans
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*
  • Software