As any medical professional in the psoriatic arthritis (PsA) field knows, there’s not just one specialist to turn to when it comes to patient treatment and care. Someone living with PsA could log some serious miles driving to their rheumatologist’s office, then trekking to their dermatologist appointment on the other side of the town. Factor in any other specialist visits and making your doctor appointments can turn into a full-time job.
The excess of experts also doesn’t make it easy for those treating patients, as communication between specialists is not always ideal. That’s why there’s been a concentrated effort in recent years to handle collaborative care through the shared management approach.
“Psoriatic arthritis is really the poster child for shared management, because so many manifestations really do need to be addressed by both a dermatologist and a rheumatologist – and sometimes other specialties like gastroenterologists, orthopedists and others,” says Evan L. Siegel, M.D., a rheumatologist and a member of NPF’s Medical Board.
The basics are simple: bring both the rheumatologist and dermatologist under one roof to improve the patient’s quality of care. “There’s been a big push recently to try to get out of siloed care, meaning each specialty is just doing their own job and not paying attention to what is going on with the other specialties,” says Siegel.
Siegel knows the power that collaboration can bring. For the past few years he and dermatologist Benjamin Lockshin, M.D., have put this into practice with their shared rheumatology-dermatology clinic in Rockville, Maryland. Once a week both doctors meet with patients together to discuss treatment options and care.
The improved communication has improved the speed and efficiency of providing care, plus the patient feels more informed. Instead of conversations occurring between the two medical professionals over the phone after the visit is done, it’s taking place when the patient is present, giving the patient a way to be involved more in the decision-making process.
Live from New York, it’s shared management
NPF sees the value to this approach and is hitting the road to spread the word on shared management. In December, NPF will host a shared management event at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York to educate medical professionals on the benefits of a collaborative approach to PsA care. Siegel and dermatologist Ronald Prussick, M.D., will present a joint discussion on the issues relating to PsA and how dermatologists and rheumatologists can coordinate care more effectively.
Along with a conversation on the benefits of coordinated care, attendees will receive an update on the latest psoriatic disease treatments and best practices for caring for patients. There will also be a discussion on PsA from the perspective of a dermatologist.
While the events are primarily aimed at rheumatologists and dermatologists, others in the medical field, including primary care physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, can find real value from the discussions. “We welcome anybody who cares for patients with psoriatic disease to join us,” says Siegel.
Join us in New York
If you or any of your colleagues want to learn more about shared management and collaborative approaches to treating PsA, join us for the Psoriatic Disease Shared Management Program in New York on December 5.
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.