NEW YORK, Sept. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- IBD Qorus™, the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's (CCFA) national initiative to improve the quality of care for patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, collectively known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), has revealed initial results of its pilot efforts focused on urgent care. Initiated in May 2015, the pilot aimed to improve access to urgent care for patients with IBD.
IBD Qorus is a groundbreaking collaboration between patients and their healthcare providers that will lead to enhanced health outcomes and improve the quality of care for IBD patients. There are currently 20 gastroenterology practices enrolled and participating in the program. Through small, iterative changes in clinical practices, providers improve the quality of care that their patients receive, ultimately improving their quality of life.
"The goal of this initial work was for participating sites to collaborate and identify ways to improve access to care services during urgent IBD events," said Gil Melmed, MD, Director of Clinical Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, co-chair of IBD Qorus. "Participating sites brainstormed potential process changes that could be introduced into every day practice without major changes to their structure of care, and worked together in teams to test, track, and measure the impact of changes over time to assess for improvement in the delivery of urgent care and important patient outcomes."
During this 12-month period, sites participated on monthly calls to share performance updates, specifically focusing on how selected ideas impacted their ability to deliver urgent care, and ultimately how to implement proven ideas into practice. In addition to sharing their success, the sites were encouraged to share what did not work so that other sites could either offer advice on how to make small adjustments, or to encourage the sites to develop and test a new idea.
"Having the sites regroup to share experiences, they are able to share successes, both large and small, identify potential barriers, and adapt accordingly," said Alandra Weaver, MPH, CCFA's Director of IBD Qorus. "What we are seeing with this initial work is how important knowledge sharing and collaboration are in improving health care." Many of these improvement ideas and plans have now been permanently incorporated into everyday clinical practice at the Qorus sites, and continue to help patients who are seeking urgent care. Successful ideas put into practice and recommended to other sites include:
- Establishment of reserved urgent care slots at Cedars-Sinai Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, which were used 97 times over a one year period of time
- Under the control of a Nurse Navigator, a newly created position, Penn State Hershey IBD Center offered three weekly urgent care slots staffed by two providers – and filled them 100 percent of the time
- Development and implementation of an urgent care hotline and educational emergency care cards at Baylor College of Medicine decreased the number of emergency room visits for patients with active disease, reduced hospital stays, and increased urgent care satisfaction
The work of the IBD Qorus collaborative is intended to not only improve patients' experiences in receiving urgent care, but also help avoid expensive and potentially harmful treatment in the future. By promoting these best practices across various health care and practice settings, many patients with IBD will receive more timely and improved urgent care.
About IBD Qorus
IBD Qorus is a unique and innovative program designed to empower IBD patients to become more engaged and active in managing their care, and for healthcare providers to share ideas and report quality metrics to a common platform. Over time these collaborative relationships will enhance individual patient health outcomes and enable researchers to compare patient experiences and treatment outcomes longitudinally and across a variety of care settings. This will lead to discoveries and insights that improve health outcomes for IBD patients across the United States.
IBD Qorus is partially supported by AbbVie, Janssen Biotech, Inc., Luitpold Pharmaceuticals Inc., Nestlé Health Science, Pfizer Inc., Shire, and Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.
About the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is the largest non-profit, voluntary, health organization dedicated to finding cures for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). CCFA's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults who suffer from these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research; providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public; and furnishing supportive services for those afflicted with IBD. For more information visit www.ccfa.org, call 888-694-8872, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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SOURCE Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America