Decentralizing healthcare in Norway to improve patient-centered outpatient clinic management of rheumatoid arthritis - a conceptual model

BMC Rheumatol. 2021 Nov 8;5(1):43. doi: 10.1186/s41927-021-00215-1.


A growing population of older adults and improved effective treatments for inflammatory rheumatic diseases will increase the demand for more healthcare resources that already struggle with staggering outpatient clinic waiting times. Transformative delivery care models that provide sustainable healthcare services are urgently needed to meet these challenges. In this mini-review article, a proposed Lifelong Treatment Model for a decentralized follow-up of outpatient clinic patients living with rheumatoid arthritis is presented and discussed.Our conceptual model follows four steps for a transformative care delivery model supported by an Integrated Practice Unit; (1) Diagnosis, (2) Treatment, (3) Patient Empowered Disease Management, and (4) Telehealth. Through an Integrated Practice Unit, a multidisciplinary team could collaborate with patients with rheumatoid arthritis to facilitate high-value care that addresses most important outcomes of the patients; (1) Early Remission, (2) Decentralization, (3) Improved Quality of Life, and (4) Lifelong Sustain Remission.The article also addresses the growing challenges for the healthcare delivery system today for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and proposes how to reduce outpatient clinic visits without compromising quality and safety.

Keywords: COVID; Chronic disease management; Cost reduction; Decision making; Empowerment; Patient-centeredness; Rheumatology; Telehealth.

Publication types

  • Review