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Trial demonstrates benefits of learning sessions for managing rheumatoid arthritis

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A new study found that group-based quality improvement sessions help rheumatologists care for rheumatoid arthritis patients with the recommended "treat to target" (TTT) approach to care. This approach involves setting a target for treatment, measuring progress towards achieving the target regularly, altering treatments until reaching and maintaining target, and sharing the decisions with patients.

The randomized study, which is published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, included 320 patients whose providers participated in the learning sessions and 321 control patients. At baseline, the average TTT score was 11% in both arms; after 9 months, the TTT score was 57% in the intervention group and 25% in the control group.

"This trial demonstrates the tremendous value of a learning collaborative where teams work together using rapid cycle improvement methods to enhance care," said Dr. Daniel Solomon, chief of the Section of Clinical Sciences in the Division of Rheumatology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and lead author of the trial. "We showed that a learning collaborative positively impacts implementation of TTT for rheumatoid arthritis; now, rheumatology should consider how to optimize other aspects of their practice through learning collaboratives."

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.40111

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