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ICYMI: Drug Safety Risk Communication- The 800 lb Gorilla Approach

Discussions on drug safety can be as treacherous as quicksand for the patient and physician. What the physician knows and what the patient perceives may not be in sync.

Three Healthcare Hashtags You Should Follow 

I've sent more than 2,000 tweets since joining Twitter in July 2010. Even better, I've read (and sometimes shared) thousands of other educational, informative and sometimes humorous tweets from fellow rheumatologists, physicians, healthcare providers and others around the world. While following individuals and organizations relevant to you is important, so is following hashtags. Here are three I recommend.

Best of 2018: Rheumatology Dead Word Cemetery 2019

I recently heard of a secondary school assignment wherein students were challenged to “bury” a word that was no longer useful or appropriate. Their exercise has now evolved into an unofficial RheumNow task force to retire diagnostic terms that have grown into misuse in rheumatology and medicine. How did we decide which words should perish? And by what criteria? Who has the final say?

Best of 2018: The Delayed Diagnosis of Spondyloarthritis

You see them from the corner of your eye, standing with a kyphosis in the waiting room. They are filling out their paperwork, standing up because sitting is just not pleasant. You are the rheumatologist with an  interest in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and spondyloarthritis, so more likely than not, the patient with the bent spine is going to be your next new patient. In the back of your mind you are hoping that they are not so far along so that the therapy you may prescribe can make a difference in their life.

Rheumatology Dead Word Cemetery 2019

I recently heard of a secondary school assignment wherein students were challenged to “bury” a word that was no longer useful or appropriate. Their exercise has now evolved into an unofficial RheumNow task force to retire diagnostic terms that have grown into misuse in rheumatology and medicine. How did we decide which words should perish? And by what criteria? Who has the final say?

The Delayed Diagnosis of Spondyloarthritis

You see them from the corner of your eye, standing with a kyphosis in the waiting room. They are filling out their paperwork, standing up because sitting is just not pleasant. You are the rheumatologist with an  interest in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and spondyloarthritis, so more likely than not, the patient with the bent spine is going to be your next new patient. In the back of your mind you are hoping that they are not so far along so that the therapy you may prescribe can make a difference in their life.

ACR 2017 Highlights: RA, SpA, PsA, OA, Lupus and More

The quality of the meeting was on par with the host city, with extensive data presented on a range of topics, from social media to drug safety. The organization committee did a great job and I got the feeling that most people felt the congress was user friendly given the magnitude of the event. During this year’s meeting, I had the privilege of working with the RheumNow team, which gave me the opportunity to hone my social media skills and get my Twitter game on. After reviewing plenty of posters and going to numerous presentations, here are my top take home messages as classified by disease state.

MONEYBALL

The movie Moneyball is a David versus Goliath tale with the A’s (David) struggling to compete with Goliath teams like the Yankees. The movie pits hunch-driven “expertise” (convention) against a mathematic approach to decision making (Moneyball). Would you trust a big Whopper computer printout of next best drug(s) to give to Mrs. Hawking who has psoriatic arthritis and needs to start a DMARD? I believe most of you would huff and scoff at a formulaic or number-driven approach.

The Brooklyn HAQ

The Health Assessment Questionnaire is a utilitarian outcome measure, often used in clinical trials and daily practice. Unless you’re still prescribing penacillamine, never attended an ACR meeting, and never read an RA clinical trial, you’re quite familiar with the HAQ and its use in practice. So, surely you’ve heard of the “Brooklyn HAQ”?

Guiding Patients Considering Biologics

What are the questions patients should ask their doctors about biologics? Are there rules for starting and stopping biologics?

Biologic Prescribing and Patient Education

Biologics are big. Their popularity is reflected in their growing use since being introduced in 1998. Biologics have been used by more than 3 million patients worldwide. In 2013, Enbrel, Remicade and Humira accounted for nearly $30 billion in worldwide sales. In the USA, it is estimated that we will spend $220 billion on biologics by 2017. 

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