Using electronic medical record data and patient reported outcome measures to improve the early identification and management of knee osteoarthritis in Canadian primary care

Osteoarthritis is a painful joint disease and leading cause of disability that affects over 6 million Canadians. The knee is one of the most commonly affected joints. Knee osteoarthritis (KOA) starts with mild joint pain and stiffness that worsens to extreme pain, often requiring surgery if left untreated.  Being able to identify people with KOA in primary care at an early stage of disease would help promote less invasive treatments. Yet, primary care clinicians report many barriers to identifying and treating KOA. The proposed study works with primary care clinicians and their electronic medical records to identify patients with KOA. I will examine the prevalence of KOA across Canada and learn about KOA risk factors like previous joint injury and obesity. As well, the management approach of primary care clinicians for KOA patients will be analyzed. Lastly, a secure online KOA dashboard will be pilot tested in a small group of primary care clinicians. This dashboard will combine the electronic medical record data with patient-selected patient reported outcome measures (PROM) on pain, symptoms, physical activity, and quality of life to inform primary care clinicians and guide their treatment for KOA patients.