Updates from the Rapid Access Video Encounter (RAVE) Program

October 19, 2022

The Rapid Access Video Encounter (RAVE) program was developed by the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology in August of 2019 as a result of a significant increase in patient volumes. The goal of this novel clinical assessment program is to act as a triaging service for new patient referrals and requests.

RAVE triage video encounters are 20-minute visits. Through careful questioning, observation, and review of the patient's history by one of the Division's physicians or advanced practice providers, these visits lead to placement of the patient into an appropriate management pathway for follow-up care. If a rheumatologic diagnosis is suspected, specific tests or diagnostics can be ordered before the patient's first in-person encounter to facilitate an ultimate diagnosis.

“From my perspective, patients are grateful that they can talk to a provider quickly through the RAVE program. Whether they have a simple question, need extra reassurance, or are seeking a second opinion, they are provided a sense of relief when they can easily access care from our providers,” 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.

Dr. Coca also states that the RAVE program allows patients to self-schedule their appointments, which empowers individuals to become active participants in their health. In addition, the ability to self-schedule provides patients with convenient options for care, as the RAVE program continues to see patients daily.

Another benefit of the RAVE program is that it significantly reduces patient wait time and simplifies the process of directing patients to the specialist who can most effectively care for their needs.

For example, providers in the RAVE program often make referrals to specialty clinics after the initial patient encounter. Patients may be referred to the Lupus Center or Vasculitis Center, or one of the Division’s multidisciplinary clinics.

If it is determined that a patient’s needs require care across other specialty areas within the UPMC system, RAVE program providers will get the patient on the path toward the right care as quickly as possible.

"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 Dr. Coca. 

Learn more about the work being done in the UPMC Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology.