An important part of our quality-improvement strategy is to measure outcomes for all of the patients who are under our care.
We track all patients in our IBD Center and measure how many are in remission, are reporting good quality of life, and are not taking steroids − a medicine that can have negative side effects in children.
We also carefully review progress and discuss each patient to ensure he or she is seen regularly by the care team and is prescribed effective doses of medications.
Another important aspect of our quality improvement is testing new treatment approaches and therapies that may improve patient outcomes. Through this process, we learn what works best for our patients and what will help them achieve sustained remission.
In pursuit of the best outcomes for IBD patients, Cincinnati Children’s and the Improve Care Now (ICN) collaborative are focused on the following key areas for our quality improvement efforts.
The pre-clinic planning process has been developed to proactively plan and recommend care practices based on protocols and in line with a patient’s current lab values or vitals. The pre-clinic planning process enables care providers to uniformly plan for each patient’s visit.
- A primary area of focus for pre-visit planning is the consistent application of vitamin D recommendations. Our current practice is to measure a patient’s vitamin D level every six months. Based on these results, we determine if vitamin D supplementation is needed.
Safe and Effective Use of Medications
Medication guidelines have been developed and agreed upon based on the best evidence available. Safety and efficacy of the medications used to treat IBD are critical in attaining and maintaining remission of the disease.
To gain a complete picture of a patient’s current disease activity, assessments of vital signs, laboratory and diagnostic studies, quality of life, and evaluation of growth and weight gain are monitored and reviewed at each visit. It is this holistic approach to IBD care that promotes global health and optimal outcomes.
The Center for Adherence and Self-Management at Cincinnati Children’s provides resources to help patients with self-management and related behaviors including transition to adult care and quality-of-life issues. Learn more about our Adherence Center and areas of active research.
Transition to adult care is an important process for our adolescent patients. We focus on assessing and teaching our patients’ the right skills including education about their disease, medications, side effects, how and when to contact their doctor, and how to refill medications and schedule office visits.
We utilize the IBD self-management handbook as a resource for patients and families to learn about the disease, medications, and to help with goal setting and tracking progress and learning.