Referring Patients to a Rheumatologist
In this video, Monica Richey, MSN, NP, speaks about when a primary care provider should refer a patient to a rheumatologist, including how to expedite the process.
Monica Richey, MSN, NP, is an adult rheumatology nurse practitioner at Northwell Health (Long Island, NY).
Monica Richey: This is Monica Richey. I'm a nurse practitioner in rheumatology. I work for Northwell Health. And one of the most common questions I always get is when to refer to the rheumatologist, right? Let's say that you have a patient you really believe there is RA. I think a couple of things that will help you expedite that referral and get you in is to get the labs done. So always order the labs before you refer to the rheumatologist, just to confirm and just to expedite. Sometimes we have referrals just for joint pain, and it's very complicated for us to just gauge how urgent that is. Is this just rheumatoid arthritis? Is this osteoarthritis? What is the common thought?
So always present to us whatever you have, if you did x-rays, if you did lab work. But mostly, at all times, if you have any questions and you have a relationship with your rheumatologist, give them a call, and explain the case. So that always expedites. And if you don't have that relationship, when you send a referral, send a note with it as well so we can best understand how quick that patient has to do. But at all times, I think if you have any suspicions that this is a rheumatic disease, always refer to the rheumatologist as soon as possible so we can get that patient treated right away.