Testing population-based performance measures identifies gaps in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) care

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Barber, Claire E
Lix, Lisa M
Lacaille, Diane
Marshall, Deborah A
Kroeker, Kristine
Benseler, Susanne
Twilt, Marinka
Schmeling, Heinrike
Barnabe, Cheryl
Hazlewood, Glen S
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Abstract Background The study evaluates Performance Measures (PMs) for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA): The percentage of patients with new onset JIA with at least one visit to a pediatric rheumatologist in the first year of diagnosis (PM1); and the percentage of patients with JIA under rheumatology care seen in follow-up at least once per year (PM2). Methods Validated JIA case ascertainment algorithms were used to identify cases from provincial health administrative databases in Manitoba, Canada in patients < 16 years between 01/04/2005 and 31/03/2015. PM1: Using a 3-year washout period, the percentage of incident JIA patients with ≥1 visit to a pediatric rheumatologist in the first year was calculated. For each fiscal year, the proportion of patients expected to be seen in follow-up who had a visit were calculated (PM2). The proportion of patients with gaps in care of > 12 and > 14 months between consecutive visits were also calculated. Results One hundred ninety-four incident JIA cases were diagnosed between 01/04/2008 and 03/31/2015. The median age at diagnosis was 9.1 years and 71% were female. PM1: Across the years, 51–81% of JIA cases saw a pediatric rheumatologist within 1 year. PM2: Between 58 and 78% of patients were seen in yearly follow-up. Gaps > 12, and > 14, months were observed once during follow-up in 52, and 34%, of cases, and ≥ twice in 11, and 5%, respectively. Conclusions Suboptimal access to pediatric rheumatologist care was observed which could lead to diagnostic and treatment delays and lack of consistent follow-up, potentially negatively impacting patient outcomes.
BMC Health Services Research. 2019 Aug 14;19(1):572