The homunculus is a small being from folklore previously firmly related to sixteenth-century alchemy; famously found in literature such as Goethe’s Faust. Now, the homunculus is the new solution for the Rheumatology clinic at UHN developed by DADOS.
Rheumatology is the medical study of the musculoskeletal system, most well-known to the public for treating conditions including, but not limited to, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The Rheumatology Division at UHN is the largest of its kind in Canada and a leader in training a new generation of medical students. Despite leading the field, a problem still existed; due to the nature of the study, precise notes must be taken at each visit to locate the precise locations of pain. Each clinical protocol was several pages long, inquiring about the state of each major joint. Often times, it would be difficult to understand which joint the protocol was asking about; and equally as difficult for the patient to describe the location of the pain and find it in the long protocol. Eventually, the clinical protocols accumulated, filling binders per patient. This also meant that the researchers needed to search through binders of forms to find a specific protocol. Overall, this process was time-consuming and difficult for both the patient and the researchers.
This is where the homunculus came in. The DADOS team added this specialized functionality with the purpose of creating a practical system to input data. The homunculus, in principle, is very simple. It is a user-friendly, image-based clinical protocol. The program consists of a symbolized image of a human being with ‘hot-spots’ over all the major joints. Users can tap these joints to change the colour of the ‘hot-spots’, each colour representing the state of pain related to the selected joint. This way, the patient can simply tap the affected joints, reducing the ambiguity and confusion of location. The homunculus continues to be a much faster and simpler method of clinical protocol than the previous method for the patients. For UHN, this means faster reception and easier storage of more accurate data.
DADOS has reduced the physical storage from a thick binder per patient to almost nothing. The homunculus results can be saved like any other encounter in the DADOS database and any changes within the homunculus will be recorded in the patient’s history, allowing quick analysis of trends. Since its implementation, the homunculus continues to prove that a simple idea can have a great effect.
The advantages of customized data collection: DADOS allows teams to focus on data points that work specifically for them.
Instead of working with forms collected by someone else that may contain data points that are unnecessary for your team, allow DADOS to help set up surveys and forms to collect the specific data points needed for your department. With real-world experience in multiple specialties, DADOS is able to help with any team.
The Consortium of Rheumatology Researchers of North America (Corrona), one of the largest real-world prospective data sets for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), has expanded to include datasets for other autoimmune diseases, including gout, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriatic arthritis/spondyloarthropathy, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.
Leslie R. Harrold, chief scientific officer at Corrona LLC, explained that the “goal is to gain a deeper understanding of patterns of care, effectiveness and safety outcomes in autoimmune diseases.”
Since 2011, over 430 abstracts at medical conferences and 144 manuscripts were created using data collected through Corrona. Read the full article to understand how this data is used in assessing treatment effectiveness and safety of a medication.
DADOS allows clinicians to monitor their patients’ progress and adjust their treatment plans as necessary, and can also prospectively collect data to power research initiatives.
With healthcare moving towards the value-based model, more practitioners are using patient-reported outcomes (PROs) to document their patients’ quality of life. Based on a survey by Health Catalyst only one in five hospitals in the U.S. use PROs consistently. Among the respondents who used patient-reported outcomes to some extent were those engaged in chronic disease management, surgical interventions, post-surgical patient tracking, mental healthcare, and cancer management. Read the full article to learn how providing patients with a more active role in their care decision-making can improve their health.
However, the survey also indicated that nearly three-quarters of respondents had plans to begin using PROs. DADOS can help with these objectives, offering PROs for various specialities including orthopaedics, plastic surgery, rheumatology, rehabilitation, as well as prostate and head and neck cancer. Designed with the patient in mind, DADOS guides care delivery and allows physicians to tailor treatment to the needs of each patient.
According to a study published in the Journal of Rheumatology, the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Global Health Short Form (PROMIS10) is an efficient screening instrument for impaired physical function, pain, and emotional distress in outpatients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Read the study abstract to learn more about PROMIS10 and how it can be evaluated in rheumatic diseases.
With a robust bank of PROMIS CAT tools, DADOS allows you to seamlessly collect valid patient-reported outcomes, focusing on relevant health status domains. Tailored to each patient, the system administers questions based on the patient’s previous answers, requiring less time for completion.
Looking to skip complicated setup procedures and start working efficiently, immediately?
Contact us to try out a demo of DADOS or ask us questions to see if your project would be a good fit.
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