Background In January 2011, at our centre, we started a Rheumatology nurse-led telephone clinic, in order to monitor drugs toxicity and evolution of disease in patients with good disease control and on stable treatment.
Objectives To describe the nurse-led telephone clinic activity in a Rheumatology Service, and its influence on the decrease of welfare load and safety of drugs management.
Methods Descriptive retrospective study, collecting the nurse-led telephonic clinic between January 27th and December 30th 2011. This clinic was performed 3 days a week by one nurse with a computer with access to the clinical history and laboratory results, and an external telephone. The protocolized data collected included: duration of the call, necessity of doctor involvement and doctor visit, drug monitoring and diagnosis.
Results A total of 978 telephone consultations were carried out for 414 patients. The diagnosis distribution was Rheumatoid Arthritis 45.2% (187), Osteoporosis 18.6% (77), Psoriatic Arthritis 13.1% (54), Ankylosing Spondylitis 9.7% (40), other Spondyloarthropaties 7.7% (32), Paget Disease 1.4% (6), SLE 1.2% (5), Polymyalgia Rheumatica 1.2% (5), and others 1.9% (8). The distribution of monitored drugs was Methotrexate 61% (597), Zoledronic Acid 14.7% (144), Leflunomide 10% (97), Sulfasalazine 5.9% (58), and others 15% (147). The duration of calls was fewer than 10 minutes in 91.5% (895) of the cases. Only in 8.7% (85) was consultation with a doctor necessary, with a doctor’s visit required in 30% (25) of them. In regards to inflammatory systemic diseases, this strategy allows saving 834 visits with a doctor.
Conclusions Creating a nurse-led telephone clinic in Rheumatology allows the avoidance of unnecessary hospital visits, benefiting both patients and doctors.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared