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Rheumatology (United Kingdom) ; 61(SUPPL 1):i23, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1868355


Background/Aims Patient initiated follow up (PIFU) is an initiative that allows patients to access follow-up when required by initiating their own appointments. The disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant capacity constraints on many services that were already experiencing pressures prior to the pandemic, piquing interest in PIFU as a sustainable model of care. The BSR has produced draft PIFU guidance to support rheumatology units to develop and deliver safe, robust and sustainable PIFU care models. We audited our PIFU pathway in line with the BSR's recommended standards to establish its safety and efficacy since its implementation in 2018. Methods This was a retrospective analysis of patients transferred to an active PIFU access plan within UHMBT between February 2018 and November 2019. Patients were identified by the informatics team from the active PIFU access plans. We captured data to include treatments used. The electronic case notes were reviewed to establish reasons for appointment triggers in those who contacted the service, analyse waiting times for clinical review further to making contact and assess subsequent outcomes. Data were entered and analysed in Microsoft Excel 2016. Results We had a total of 420 patients on PIFU. We audited 100 of these. 56 were female. Mean age was 63.4 years (24-96). The most common diagnosis was inflammatory arthritis (n=78). The majority of patients (n=53) were on a single disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD). 17 patients were on>1 DMARD and 5 patients were on prednisolone monotherapy, mean steroid dose 4.9mg daily. 25 patients were not on any treatment. Of those on DMARDS, 63% (44) were on methotrexate, either as monotherapy or in combination with other DMARDs. 68% (30) of those on methotrexate were on a dose of ≤15mg weekly. Of the 100 patients, 9 triggered a review within the follow up period. This was usually via the nurse helpline (n=7). Occasionally the GP triggered a review on behalf of the patient via the advice and guidance line (n=2). The most common reason for a trigger was a flare of inflammatory arthritis (n=7) and the remaining two appointments were due to side effects of DMARDs. Patients were contacted via nurse telephone call back within 48 hours of contacting the helpline (n=8). One patient required an urgent face-to-face consultant review and was seen within 7 days. After contacting the service, all nine patients were reverted to regular follow-up. Conclusion Our results confirmed a robust PIFU pathway with appropriate safety nets ensuring prompt access to clinician input when needed. The use of PIFU pathway did not compromise care or result in any worsening clinical outcomes. After validation at 2 years, the majority of our patients on this pathway were onwardly managed through the PIFU model.