Objective: To test the feasibility of collecting, storing, retrieving and analysing necessary information to fulfil a preliminary set of quality indicators (QIs) that have been proposed by an international task force in a large multinational clinical practice database of patients with RA.
Methods: Data from all 12 487 patients with 46 005 visits in the Measurement of Efficacy of Treatment in the Era of Outcome in Rheumatology database from January 2008 until January 2012 were analysed to test the feasibility of collecting information on 10 QIs: time to diagnosis; frequency of visits; assessment of autoantibodies and radiographs, disease activity and function; disease remission, low disease activity, normal function; time to first DMARD and type of first DMARD. For each QI, two aspects were assessed: information availability and target achievement.
Results: Information was available for <50% of patients regarding the following QIs: time to diagnosis, assessment of ACPAs or radiographs, time to first DMARD and type of first DMARD. Information was available for function assessment in 49% of visits and 67% of patients and for disease activity assessment in 85% of visits and 86% of patients. Information relevant to the QI frequency of visits was available for all patients. Relevant information to calculate the proportion of patients who achieved a defined target could be obtained for all QIs.
Conclusion: Collecting storing, retrieving and analysing the core data necessary to meaningfully assess quality of care is feasible in a multinational, practice-based electronic database.
Keywords: care; quality indicator; rheumatoid arthritis.
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