By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist
Herman Lau and I had the opportunity to have Saturday brunch with Ted Pincus. Ted visited our Chatswood rooms and we conveniently walked upstairs to the Chinese restaurant for Yum Cha.
I've written about RAPID3 and how we were planning to use it in the clinic (read about & download it here).
Well, Ted invented the RAPID3 and has refined it over 30 years. He's been a massive advocate for the use of patient-reported functional outcome measures to help us rheumatologists do a better job in helping manage disease .
Ted makes the point that patient questionnaires like RAPID3 actually predict outcomes such as death, work disability, joint replacement surgery, and how a patient functions in daily life, better than counting joints, measuring blood tests or trying to score changes on Xrays!
I'd read some of the original scientific papers published on the stuff. It's dry reading. So, it was much better to hear it straight from the horse's mouth.
I like hearing anecdotes. It's also nice to be privy to the various reasons why the questionnaires have been adapted. It's entertaining to hear stories about luminaries in the rheumatology world and to see how Ted has persevered through the decades when there has been resistance (many rheumatologists don't like to formally measure things).
Ted's evangelical. In the good sense of the word. And in our two hours together, he strengthened our resolve to use this tool.
He made a lot of sense.
How can rheumatologists know more about how disease affects patients than the patients themselves?
And if we agree that this isn't possible, why aren't we actually helping patients to tell us? In a more formal & documented way and even better, with a scientifically validated measurement that may save time & reduce mistakes/omissions!
(Click here for 8 reasons why rheumatologists should collect patient self-report data in routine clinical care)
Yum Cha was nice and filling. Ted's reasonably proficient with chopsticks.
We even managed to discuss a Chinese version of MDHAQ/RAPID3 (a more complete questionnaire that the one we are using), which Herman plans to test on some of his Chinese speaking patients.
By the way, BJC Health started to use the RAPID3 at the start of the working week. Every patient seeing a rheumatologist, exercise physiologist, and physiotherapist has been offered the questionnaire!
Early days. I'll have more to say in time.Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. You should follow him on twitter here. Arthritis requires an integrated approach. We call this, Connected Care. Contact us.