Background In Sweden the National Board of Health and Welfare develop National (NBHW) guidelines to support those who make decisions concerning the allocation of resources within Health and Medical Care and Social Services. The goal of these guidelines is to contribute towards patients and clients receiving a high standard of medical care and social services. In 2012 the National Board launched guidelines for Musculoskeletal Diseases. These guidelines were the first that includes the rheumatic diseases like reumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis.
Objectives The objective of the guidelines for Musculoskeletal Diseases is that the health care providers should follow them and that this would lead to better care and more evidenced based treatment for patients with rheumatic diseases, and that County Councils have enough resources to implement them.
Methods A lot of work was required from many different professionals in the field of rheumatology in the process of developing the guidelines. The Swedish Rheumatism Association (SRA) definitely wanted to be a part and contribute with our experience of how it is to live with a rheumatic disease. That wasn’t easy because the NBHW had no tradition of working that way. Therefore we made appointments and meet with the professional’s representatives for each diagnosis. This led to a lot of meetings during several years. SRA created a group of experts responsible for working with the guidelines, their role was to read and respond to the referral from the NBHW. During 2010-2011 NBHW invited the County Councils to regional seminars about a preliminary version of the guidelines. SRA had been promised that we would be invited to these seminars, but of course it wasn’t that easy. We were represented in a few of the seminars. Now the only thing was to wait for the final version, and it was of course delayed. In May 2012 we could see the result and the final document. Now we needed a strategy for how we could manage to create commitment and interest from County Council politicians and health care providers to implement these new guidelines. We started by arranging two seminars at an important political conference with representatives from the County Councils, NBHW, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and our president Anne Carlsson. We also made a modest survey amongst the County Councils and asked if they were prepared and had plans for implementing the new guidelines. We published the results of the survey in our member Journal Reumatikervärlden. The Swedish television morning news got interested and had a long feature where our president talked about and described the differences between County Councils preparedness to implement the guidelines. To update Regional Branches in SRA, we organised a conference and thoroughly discussed how we need to work with the new guidelines in order for them to become a reality.
Results The knowledge about the national guidelines for musculoskeletal diseaseshas definitely increased in our organization. We now know that we have more power as a patient group in our contacts with health care providers.
Conclusions National guidelines is a tool which rightly increases our expectations and demand of better and more evidenced based treatment for ourmembers and other people with rheumatic diseases. The SRA need to regularly follow up how the implementation advances and that the National guidelines becomes a reality and that theequalityin care increases.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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