Why Rheumatologists Should Be Excited About the New RISE Registry

October 28, 2014

Just as a rising tide lifts all boats, the American College of Rheumatology's aptly named new registry should boost overall outcomes in rheumatic disease, if enough clinicians join. A rheumatologist with informatics credentials hopes its ease of use (and benefits) will encourage wide adoption.

In 2007, I was part of a group convened by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) to help them design an innovative new tool for rheumatologists that would help with practice improvements, population management, and quality measures. Since that time – and as Chair of the ACR’s Registries & Health Information Technology Committee – I have overseen the ACR’s development of the Rheumatology Clinical Registry, or RCR, a wonderful tool that has helped more than 600 rheumatologists across the country improve patient care in their offices.

Now, more than seven years later, I am thrilled to announce the next wave in innovation: the Rheumatology Informatics System for Effectiveness (RISE) Registry. An enhanced version of the RCR, RISE is designed to provide superior quality reporting and quality-improvement capabilities.

The real beauty of RISE is in its ease of use. Installation is simple: Once the software is installed, the ACR refines the system over the next four to six weeks so that it synchronizes perfectly with your electronic health records, allowing you to  enter data once and then use it as many times as you need it. From there, RISE can be used for quality reporting and quality improvement that goes far beyond anything the field of rheumatology has had before.

RISE is officially recognized as a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). It allows you to tailor ad hoc data queries to isolate trends and then drill down and find their root cause and make targeted changes. It offers benchmark comparisons, allowing you to measure your results against those of your peers and against the national average.

Thus far, 21 practices are either successfully using RISE or are in the process of installation. Initial feedback has been outstanding and the first practice to sign up has now reached its goal of 100% measurement of disease activity.

As RISE takes shape, I’ve watched it give physicians a better view of their patient population that allows them to identify where they could be doing better. So often, our perspective is limited to one visit at a time. We remember the patient in remission or the patient with high disease activity. RISE allows us to reflect on our work in a broader way, improving our performance and closing treatment gaps that translate to meaningful changes for our patients.

Ultimately, RISE is a tool designed by rheumatologists, for rheumatologists. We’re working to move the needle on a local level and on a national scale. I would encourage everyone to give it a try, watch our demo, learn about our results. It’s so much easier than you imagine - and it’s worth it to you and your patients.

To learn more about RISE, or to register, email RISE@rheumatology.org.

(Reprinted with permission from the American College of Rheumatology.)