That's it for your RheumReports team from EULAR 2015! A well-deserved break now after a really busy conference.
One of the overarching messages I took away from EULAR 2015 was the concept of comorbidity assessment and screening - are we doing enough for our patients? Carolyn Whiskin wrote a fantastic article on the minimal level of comorbidity assessment that should be done by rheumatologists. This article provides a "checklist" of things we should all be doing in our practices.
When I read through this list and pondered its implementation in my practice, I couldn't help but shiver at the thought of adding this to an already busy follow-up appointment. Carolyn points out in her last statement that "The EULAR committee is hopeful that the newly developed tool will be broadly adopted in practice but understands that the use of health professional teams in rheumatology may be required to make this a reality."
Rheumatologists are the prototypical managers of chronic disease - that is what we do. Generally, our patients have these diseases for life and we follow them for many years. In fact, many patients visit their rheumatologist more often than their primary care specialist.
With this in mind, we should be pushing our health care payers to provide the necessary resources to develop a team-based approach within Rheumatology. I am proud to say that rheumatologists have always been on the leading edge with respect to therapeutics in medicine. I would be even more proud to say that rheumatologists are the leaders in providing a team-based approach to chronic disease management.
With that thought, I will bid you farewell from Rome and a great EULAR meeting. I would like to thank all of the RheumReporters and our entire support team for creating another outstanding edition of RheumReports. Looking forward to seeing everyone in San Francisco for ACR 2015!
Dr. Andy Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org)