British Society of Rheumatology

Executive Summary

Net Solving delivered an ambitious project with the British Society of Rheumatology that has created fantastic results in a short period of time through great teamwork and the utilisation of Net Solving’s latest technology CaseCapture™.
The National Early Inflammatory Arthritis Audit aims to help improve the care for people living with inflammatory arthritis across England and Wales. In just 9 months since launching the audit they have already recruited over 12,000 patients and expect that number to increase to over 20,000 in the coming months, making it one of the biggest audits of its kind worldwide.
For this Case Study we interviewed the CEO Ali Rivett.

About the client

The British Society for Rheumatology is the representative body of all those in the field of rheumatology, with membership consisting of consultants, trainees doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and many other professional groups. They have over 2,500 members primarily in the UK, but also membership in 51 other countries throughout the world. The primary role of BSR is to support its members to deliver the best possible care. This consists of an expansive list of activities, such as conferences and courses, guidelines, journals, research, policy and parliamentary affairs.
Ali Rivett the CEO of BSR described his role as having "three core challenges - to oversee delivery of our strategy, to ensure we meet all of our charitable and legal obligations and to be the key contact with my team and the board of trustees."

The challenges

Ali was the project manager for the last arthritis audit before going on to head up the organisation. He mentioned that the project was a steep learning curve for all involved, as it was the first audit of its kind with many highs and lows, but which ultimately provided robust, benchmarked data for the community and demonstrated why there was variation in care.
Informed by learning from the last audit, Ali mentioned there were "lots of things we decided to differently to improve the user experience, including".
1) "Making the IT more user-friendly, with improved access to the system and having a single helpdesk based within BSR to deal with queries as quickly as possible."
2) "Introducing dashboard functionality to enable units to see their data in real-time, rather than wait for their results in an annual report"

The business case

The BSR took the initial steps of investigating what other projects and systems were out there in the sector before going into the specification stage. Ali visited some of the three existing audits in the sector to talk to them about their projects and also their IT systems and functionality. Furthermore, to get recommendations of IT companies.
Ali Rivett, "The one thing that all three projects said to me was that Net Solving was the company to go to and so I got in touch with Paul and got him involved at a very early stage, including taking part in the tender specification and attending meetings with HQIP where we successfully secured the contract." Ali commented "We had a few things we definitely wanted, Martin worked his magic and we came up with a system that ticked all the boxes. It was very well received in the pilot and was implemented soon after that."

The results


- "The number of patients recruited has increased immeasurably - more than double what we thought it would be in the first year – meaning that we are probably going to recruit around 20,000 patients in the first 12 months and make this one of the biggest audits of its kind ever undertaken in the world."

- "In terms of time saved it has had a significant impact, both internally within BSR but also with the wider community. The pilot showed, for example, that the average length of time to complete the initial form was probably about 3 minutes which is less than last time and has been key to securing high levels of engagement"

- "You can see that the system has helped secure many more patients being recruited and that the community has actively engaged in the audit. Without a good IT system, this wouldn’t have been the case and units would simply disengage"


- "We now have a system where units can see their data on any given day and they don’t have to wait 12 months for published report"