2022 Clinical Excellence Within the Division of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology

January 26, 2023

The Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology is committed to providing the highest quality care for patients with a wide spectrum of auto­immune and inflammatory diseases. The Division’s faculty members assume a consultative and tertiary care role, as well as provide ongoing care to patients with all types of rheumatic diseases.

There are several subspecialists who serve as regional and national consultants for patients in lupus, myositis, vasculitis, and scleroderma. Following American College of Rheumatology guidelines, the Division has worked on several quality improvement projects, with the aim of improving physician efficacy, nursing workflow, and patient satisfaction. Learn about the progress of these programs and work in 2022:

Rapid Adoption of Telemedicine in Rheumatology Care Highlights Training and Supervision Concerns Among Rheumatology Trainees

  • A team of researchers, including UPMC’s Sebastian Sattui, MD, MS, recently published a study in ACR Open Rheumatology evaluating the impact of telemedicine use during the COVID-19 pandemic on rheumatology trainees. 

The Importance of Telerheumatology in Rural and Underserved Communities

  • Christine Peoples, MD, clinical assistant professor of medicine, has been at the vanguard of telemedicine since completing her fellowship in rheumatology at UPMC in 2013. She was then tasked with expanding the virtual care presence within the Division, specifically in rural and underserved communities in Pennsylvania where there is high patient demand for convenient and accessible services.

UPMC Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology Expands Patient Access Through Novel Phone/Video-Based Triage Program

  • The Rapid Access Video Encounter (RAVE) program was designed as a service for initial new patient appointment requests. The RAVE program functions as a triage visit with one of the Division’s eight providers who currently cover the service on a rotating basis. The program officially began operation in August 2019 and has grown significantly in patient volume.

Updates from the Rapid Access Video Encounter (RAVE) Program

  • "We believe our RAVE program provides clear benefits in terms of reducing wait times for patients in need of rheumatologic care, while at the same time assisting individuals struggling with other concerns to find an appropriate provider," says Andreea Coca, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, and medical director of the UPMC Lupus Center of Excellence.