Inflammatory rheumatic diseases are very prevalent. In most
population, about 1 to 1.5% of the population are affected. Although
major advancements in therapeutic options for inflammatory diseases
have been made in the last decade, the disease still poses a severe
problem, with often severe consequences for the persons affected and
considerable costs to the health and social support system.
Since the late 1990ies, ‘biologic’ therapies are available for the treatment of rheumatic diseases. ‘Biologics’ are proteins that bind particularly one molecule, which makes their mechanism of action very specific. Biologics can be more effective than conventional antirheumatic therapies, but as most effective therapies, they also have side-effects and are certainly more costly.
Treatment management plays a pivotal role in the use of such highly efficacious therapies (Lancet. 2004 Jul 17-23;364(9430):263-9: Effect of a treatment strategy of tight control for rheumatoid arthritis (the TICORA study): a single-blind randomised controlled trial.). This is where the SCQM takes with its feed-back system: The patient and the rheumatologist receive an overview of the most important clinical parameters after each visit. This helps rheumatologists to base his or her therapy decisions on quantitative measures of disease activity and disease severity, permitting an objective, long-term view of disease progression.
The SCQM collects data on the following diseases: Rheumatoid arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis (Morbus Bechterew) and psoriatic arthritis. The data are captured in a standardized procedure. The evaluation of such registry data can lead to scientific results that can help to improve the understanding of for example treatment efficacy in normal patient populations, and can hence contribute to the improvement of treatment.
The per patient evaluation of the captured data are made available to the physician and the patient in form of a feed-back report. This feed-back allows for a better overview over the course of the disease, facilitating the optimization of the therapeutic interventions. In case of a changeover to a different rheumatologist, the SCQM data collection can be continued. Thus, both the continuation of the scientifically important registry data and the comprehensive information transfer to the new treating rheumatologist are ensured.