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Rheumatoid arthritis surveillance in Ontario: monitoring the burden, quality of care and patient outcomes through linkage of administrative health data

Widdifield J, Bernatsky S, Bombardier C, Paterson M. Healthc Q. 2015; 18(3):7-10.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common chronic inflammatory joint disease. Using the Ontario administrative health data housed at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, researchers have quantified the population-level burden and epidemiology of RA, mapped its geographic distribution in relation to rheumatologist supply, studied trends in access to rheumatology care and treatment and evaluated patient outcomes. The findings highlight the excess morbidity and mortality associated with the growing burden of RA in the face of a strained rheumatology supply, and raise urgent questions about how best to meet the needs of Ontarians with RA.

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Keywords: Arthritis Data evaluation Health care quality Rheumatology Treatment outcomes

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