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Discovering New Treatments

Developing new and more effective, efficient treatments and approaches to care for patients with rheumatic diseases have always been an important focus for both research and patient care within Geisinger’s Rheumatology Department. Through collaborations with colleagues in primary care and with Geisinger’s Center for Health Research and Center for Clinical Research, rheumatology staff members are actively involved in research projects, many of which have resulted in groundbreaking initiatives.

These innovations include, but are not limited to:

Geisinger’s Mobile DXA Program, which brings state-of-the-art osteoporosis screening directly to primary care clinics and offices. The mobile program provides more than 5,000 DXA screenings a year at 20 different primary care sites throughout central Pennsylvania.

High-Risk Osteoporosis Program (HiROC), which ensures that patients who are at high risk for fracture, or for those who have suffered a fracture while hospitalized, receive individually tailored treatments based on their preferences and medical needs.

Patient-Centric Electronic Redesign (PACER), which combines an office-based touchscreen questionnaire for patient input with specialized software to collect a world-class dataset on patients with rheumatic diseases. PACER promotes patient-focused care as well as proving rheumatologists with unique and vital medical information.

A multidisciplinary Quality Improvement Team evaluates and implements research findings to improve care for patients. One example: using Geisinger’s electronic health record to boost the rate of flu and other vaccinations for patients taking immune suppressing medications.