Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common pediatric chronic rheumatic disease, which requires constant follow-up over the years, due to relapses during its progression. To maintain a good quality of life, it is important to limit admissions as far as possible. With the development of a Diagnostic Therapeutic Assistance Pathway (DTAP), we aim to select patients with suitable clinical conditions to be moved from routine hospital management to day care or outpatient treatment, evaluating the number of patients to whom this would apply.
Monocentric study regarding admissions for JIA between 2014 and 2016 in a Pediatric Unit of a university hospital in Milan. Through an analysis of the medical records, relevant information was extracted and collected in a Microsoft™ Excel database; starting from the data collected during the first year, a DTAP was prepared for patients with active arthritis and appropriate clinical conditions.
The study includes data from 223 JIA hospitalization cases involving 127 patients. Applying DTAP criteria, 32% patients would have avoided admissions and 23% would have been admitted less frequently. The data concerning the activities of the Unit for JIA patients showed a relevant drop in the number of hospitalizations since 2015, from 89 in 2014 to 66 and 68 in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
The opportunity offered by DTAP, has suggested feasible changes in hospitalization management and it’s use would promote the possibility of treating the children without hospitalization, or minimizing it. In conclusion DTAP application is a priority for the continuous improvement of clinical practice and quality of life for patients and their families.