About PACO

The goal of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Initiative (PACO) is to create a replicable model of patient-centered care that will improve treatment for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and lead to improved outcomes. Principal Investigator and Director Dr. Nancy Shadick along with Dr. Michael Weinblatt and Dr. Jonathan Coblyn as Co-Investigators are working with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients and rheumatologists at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital to expand care beyond the traditional emphasis on inflammatory measures, joint counts and radiographs to focus on identifying patients’ concerns living with RA, improving patient-doctor communication and facilitating patient self-management. Participants are part of the Brigham and Women’s Rheumatoid Arthritis Sequential Study (BRASS) registry of approximately 1000 patients. From PACO will come new programs, tools, materials and support that will help patients better understand their disease, improve compliance, improve self-management and increase satisfaction with medical care as well as help physicians and other healthcare providers better understand their patients. Lastly, the model we develop at Brigham and Women’s Hospital will be shared and disseminated to other centers around the country.



Ongoing components of PACO include:

  • Patient Advisory Board – advising the research team and clinic staff on new processes and solutions for the Brigham and Women’s Arthritis Center.
  • Collaborations with Rheumatology Professionals – 1) Interviews are continuing with approximately 15 rheumatologists and 10-15 fellows in the Brigham and Women’s Arthritis Center to provide insight on key areas where PACO can provide support to doctors. 2) We are working with professionals related mind and body fitness to help patients live well with RA.
  • Mini-workshop series – PACO is hosting a series of mini-workshops on topics requested by patients such as major drug therapies and areas that will help patients “live well with RA” e.g., exercise, nutrition.
  • Tools – Health Passport – The goal of the Passport is to improve patient-rheumatologist communication, help patients identify their concerns living with RA and facilitate self-management.

Click to read more about PACO and one patient’s story.


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