Better care through education

| Chris Paoli

When it comes to providing the best care for those living with psoriatic disease, it takes a village. One dermatologist or rheumatologist is not enough to tackle the large scope of support and care an individual will need to thrive with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. It takes a team of dedicated health professionals, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants, working together. 

These individuals handle a number of tasks and responsibilities, from patient examination to patient education. 

“Advanced practice providers fill a lot of roles when it comes to caring for patients with psoriatic disease,” says Veronica Richardson, MSN, CRNP, an NPF medical board member and a member of the dermatology department at Perelman Center for Advance Medicine in Philadelphia. “We’re able to diagnose and treat and we’re skilled at educating our patients about psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It’s important to instill in patients the importance of adhering to and following through with their treatment and having them understand the comorbidities associated with psoriatic disease.”  

Along with helping people adhere to a prescribed treatment plan, advanced practice providers can also make alterations to said plan, if needed, and are  in an ideal position to coordinate interdisciplinary care to address the variety of comorbidities associated with psoriatic disease. 

Birth of A-PReP

With so many responsibilities, it’s important for advanced practice providers to have a finger on the pulse of the ever-changing psoriatic disease landscape. That’s why in 2016 NPF started the Advanced Practice Provider Psoriasis Recognition Education Program (A-PReP) to help keep nurse practitioners and physician assistants up to speed on the latest psoriatic disease research, treatment and care.

(It’s important to note that the “A” in A-PREP recently changed from “Allied Health Professionals” to “Advanced Practice Providers” to better represent those working with psoriatic disease patients.)

Created in tandem with the leaders and medical experts in the psoriatic disease community, the goal of A-PReP is to provide advance practice providers with knowledge of the latest breakthroughs and best practices. This includes online resources, like on-demand webinars and the podcast Psound Bytes produced for medical professionals, and live A-PReP events, which are held in conjunction with national dermatology and rheumatology conventions. 

These live events are the perfect opportunity for you and your colleagues to get caught up on the latest treatment methods while interacting with the leading minds in the psoriatic disease community (receiving a certificate eligible for CME credit). Whether you’re new to psoriatic disease, or just need a refresher on the latest research, A-PReP events will ensure you and your colleagues will be prepared to provide the best care possible. 

“It’s a condensed yet comprehensive approach to managing patients with psoriasis – no matter the severity,” says Richardson, who also heads NPF’s A-PReP. By the end of the program, the participants are going to understand the toolbox that is at their disposal for treatment and are also going to feel much more confident in diagnosing and screening for comorbidities.” 

Upcoming advanced practice provider events: 

Oct. 1: A-PReP at Maui Derm NP+PA Fall 2019
Where: Omni Grove Park Inn
Asheville, North Carolina

Nov. 22: A-PReP at SDPA
Where: The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
Scottsdale, Arizona


Driving discovery, creating community

For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.

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