Despite the sometimes dreary weather in central Ohio this time of the year, January can be a wonderful month. We all look forward to the possibilities the new year will bring. Now that 2014 is officially here, I am excited to share the news that the ACR’s Rheumatology Informatics System for Effectiveness (RISE) Registry is scheduled to launch during the first quarter of 2014.
The ACR has been developing RISE for more than two years, and has worked with numerous volunteers to prepare a best-in-class resource to help us manage patient populations and improve patient care. RISE aligns nicely with the ACR’s mission. The combination of simplified clinical data reporting and the other capacities of the registry can lead to important discoveries. RISE can truly help us Advance Rheumatology!
What Exactly Is RISE?
RISE is the enhanced version of the Rheumatology Clinical Registry (RCR) and will provide superior quality reporting and quality-improvement capabilities. Many of us currently use the RCR to report data to the Physicians Quality Reporting System. In developing RISE, the ACR focused on refining its registry to simplify the data entry process. By seamlessly and automatically syncing with electronic health records (EHRs), the registry enhancements can reduce repetitive work for us and our staffs. Entering data into the EHR for the purpose of clinical documentation (and reimbursement) can also seamlessly supply data to the registry for quality reporting and data consolidation purposes.
You might be wondering why RISE matters to the ACR, and more specifically to you. RISE provides four crucial benefits that can impact your work:
- Optimizes patient outcomes;
- Demonstrates the value of rheumatology;
- Meets reporting requirements; and
- Advances the profession through discoveries.
Participation in RISE will allow me to easily view my patient population. I will be able to assess my performance on meaningful quality/process measures, discover and close care gaps, and improve patient outcomes.
Optimizing Patient Outcomes
Improving our patients’ health is the reason we became rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals. Our patients are the focus of our work, and RISE ultimately can help us improve health outcomes for them.
RISE helps practicing rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals who are active ACR/ARHP members benchmark performance on key rheumatology clinical-quality measures and align with best practice standards. The benchmarking tool allows users to compare the details of their patient population against established and validated rheumatology quality metrics. RISE also offers access to de-identified aggregate data from other participating sites so users can view the characteristics of their patient population and compare them with other participants’ patient populations.
Demonstrating Value with Key Influencers
The ACR’s vision is that everyone will know and value rheumatology. RISE can help us achieve this by demonstrating the value of our care to many different audiences—most importantly, our patients.
In the near future, the most demanding audience will be those who pay for the care we give. Based on anticipated legislation to fix the Sustainable Growth Rate formula and provisions of the Accountable Care Act, the federal government is poised to be the first entity to ask rheumatology professionals to demonstrate that we are engaged in improving care practices and outcomes for our patients. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will pay us based on how well we perform in these areas, and other payers will probably follow suit.
The ACR recognizes the importance of helping members meet these practice metrics and the value of a rich repository of patient data (with the identity of the patient and the provider removed). These accumulated data can be a resource for our members and other stakeholders seeking answers to a variety of questions and will be of enormous value to researchers.
These data can also be used to increase awareness and discussion around rheumatology, which will enhance appreciation of our subspecialty. In the emerging healthcare economy, RISE data will help the ACR identify and quantify the value of rheumatologists and other rheumatology professionals for policymakers. Using RISE, clinicians can more easily demonstrate to lawmakers, insurers, and administrators the quality of care provided by rheumatologists.
Meeting Reporting Requirements
It seems we all spend an inordinate amount of time and energy reporting to the myriad entities requesting various data from us, including the CMS. RISE can collect the data needed to comply with current CMS reporting requirements. When RISE is integrated into an EHR, it allows a single data entry for:
- Filing quality-based incentive payments;
- Avoiding penalties;
- Complying with reporting requirements; and
- Tracking caseloads for quality monitoring and improvement initiatives.
I’m excited to be able to participate in the RISE registry. This resource will help us as a rheumatology community answer important comparative effectiveness research questions that will be useful to improve patient care and outcomes.
Making Discoveries that Advance Rheumatology
Our annual meetings showcase improvements in the treatment and diagnosis of rheumatic diseases. RISE advances rheumatology by providing a source of information on patient outcomes and quality care for rheumatology. This information can lead to new discoveries, help us better understand rheumatic diseases and their treatment, and act as a source of comparative effectiveness research.
Why Is the ACR Investing in RISE?
The ACR recognizes the value of harnessing the power of technology to advance the quality of patient care and maintains the fundamental belief that there is hope for improved outcomes for people with, and at risk for, rheumatic diseases. By working together through RISE, providers, researchers, and the ACR will help achieve solutions that transform care. As we introduce and fine-tune RISE, your involvement and feedback will be vital to its success and growth.
How Can My Practice Become Part of RISE?
The RISE team is currently creating the mechanisms to connect to a variety of EHRs and collect de-identified data in a common repository. We are very interested in adding more practices to RISE.
The RISE registry is a crucial and exciting tool for the ACR and its members. I hope you will join me in supporting its launch. With RISE, we will be proactive in collecting and leveraging health information with the intent of improving the health of our patients. I encourage you to take the time to learn what the RISE registry has to offer and make this a part of your practice. If you are interested in learning more about how RISE can benefit you, e-mail RISE@rheumatology.org.
Dr. Flood is a rheumatologist at the Columbus Arthritis Center and adjunct associate professor at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health, both in Columbus. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.