NEW YORK, Jan. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA)'s Chief Scientific Officer Caren Heller, MD released the following statement today in response to the recent New York Times article highlighting drug shortages in the United States.
"An unfortunate reality for patients with chronic illnesses and other diseases is being faced with medication shortages. However, what is an even bigger issue is what is being done when they occur," Dr. Heller said. "It is estimated that 11 percent of patients receive care that is not recommended and/or potentially harmful. As highlighted in the article, oftentimes patients are either uninformed or told about the shortage but not given the opportunity to weigh in on their treatment options in light of it. This is unacceptable.
"At CCFA, we believe that, whether it's starting a new treatment or selecting an alternative medication because of a drug shortage, patients must be at the forefront of the decision-making process. Doctors must keep patients informed of all items that could impact their care, and must work with the patients to ensure that they are educated and empowered to make the best decisions about their care.
"If shortages should arise in the future, we urge doctors to involve their patients in the decision-making process and keep them informed of everything impacting their care," Dr. Heller continued.
CCFA's newly launched quality of care program, IBD Qorus, aims to ensure that all IBD patients participate in decision making with their doctors in order to receive the highest quality of care possible. IBD Qorus seeks to identify and implement standard practices for treating IBD patients, with the overarching goal of improving patient outcomes and quality of life.
The cornerstone of IBD Qorus is a dashboard, largely based on patient-reported outcomes, that is reviewed by the patient and provider at the time of a clinic visit. This dashboard will help facilitate the partnership between patients and providers and encourages the sharing of information and the focus on issues of most concern to patients, which should result in better health outcomes and healthcare value. This technology enables symptom tracking, self-management, communication during and between visits, and shared-decision making between patients and providers. The program's technology also includes a population management tool that allows physicians to monitor patient outcomes by disease activity, recent emergency department visits, steroid use, and more. This tool will help physicians identify trends in patient care that will allow them to implement improvements to their standard practices.
SOURCE Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America