Rheumatology Team Participates in NIH-Funded “TRACTION” Collaborative

KimpelDDivision of Rheumatology‘s Don Kimpel reports that the division’s clinical practice is one of 16 throughout the U.S. that was recruited to participate in an NIH-funded initiative, “Breakthrough Series Collaborative: Treat-to-Target in Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

Breakthrough Series Collaborative” (BSC) programs — called “TRACTION” for short (“Collaboration To Improve adOption and adhereNce”) — were developed by the NIH’s Institute for Healthcare Improvement are short-term learning experiences that “bring together a large number of teams from hospitals or clinics to seek improvement in a focused topic area.” BSCs are often used to bridge the gap between sound science and healthcare practice. The grantee and principal investigator for the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) project is Daniel H. Solomon, MD MPH, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

TRACTION process

The “Treat to Target” paradigm.

Participants in the RA-focused TRACTION program were invited by Dr. Solomon to Boston for a conference that provided an opportunity to meet other collaborators and be introduced to the process. Since then, there have been regularly scheduled webinars, which are aimed at facilitating adoption of the agreed-upon “Treat-to-Target” goals.

The new paradigm for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is to use an increasing armamentarium of therapeutic options to achieve quantifiable treatment targets, linked to patient’s functional goals. The treat-to-Target (TTT) paradigm offers a structured yet flexible treatment pathway for rheumatologists to follow.

The learning collaborative stage of the project, which lasts about nine months, focuses on best practices to address common barriers to TTT adoption. These sessions give providers the opportunity to share and compare what they have learned from their own practices and from each other.

The UVA Division of Clinical Rheumatology is one of the largest groups participating in the RA collaborative program. All of the division’s faculty members (Janet Lewis, Don Kimpel, Adam Carlson, Jeff Potter) and fellows (Samara Khalique, Gitanjali Khurana, Diana Mosteanu, Narayana Swamy) are present at the webinars.

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