Improving Care for MS Patients

Dartmouth-Hitchcock hopes to improve the quality of care for people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an incurable and debilitating disease of the central nervous system “MS can cause a variety of physical and emotional challenges”, reports Brant Oliver PhD, Assistant Professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the Geisel School of Medicine.

Dr. Oliver is the Principal Investigator of the new study “Multiple Sclerosis Continuous Quality Improvement” (MSCQI) Collaborative which is being conducted by the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in collaboration with Biogen, a developer of therapies for serious neurological, autoimmune, and rare diseases.

Participating Multiple Sclerosis Centers and Clinics are located at Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Vermont, Neurology Associates Multiple Sclerosis Center of Greater Orlando, and the Concord Hospital Multiple Sclerosis Specialty Care Program. Four additional sites are expected to join MSCQI this year which will increase the total study size to more than 10,000 people with MS. The study is estimated to be completed by December 2018,

The MSCQI study will evaluate geographic variations in MS care and test the effect of two different system-level quality improvement interventions. System level interventions and analyses are performed at higher levels than individual clinicians and patients but at a lower level than population epidemiological studies.

According to Dr. Susan Reeves, Chief Nursing Executive at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, “This multicenter research program which is the first of its kind in the U.S for MS, is innovative and timely, and as a result, will bring quality improvement to the MS field. The study will include a rigorous study of the geographic variations in care quality and also emphasize the study of different improvement interventions to use to optimize outcomes.”

Researchers will use FDA approved disease-modifying therapies for MS and MRIs to track the disease. The research team will also evaluate patient outcomes, including the relapse rate the patient’s quality of life.

“We hope that through research programs like the MSCQI Collaborative study, researchers will be able to share data across centers which will help to identify effective strategies to improve MS care”, Terrie Livingston Senior Director of U.S Medical at Biogen.

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