Center Takes New Approach to Care of Patients with IBD | Physicians Update | UCLA Health

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Gastroenterology Center Takes New Approach to Care of Patients with IBD A novel program in which patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) use technology to learn about their disease and log values on symptoms, quality of life and work productivity appears to be having a dramatic impact on patient satisfaction and disease control. STORY HIGHLIGHTS Technology helps patients with chronic disease feel informed and more in control. A cornerstone of the center’s strategy is the active participation of patients in their own prevention-oriented care through technology. “Technology helps patients with chronic disease feel informed and empowered,” says Daniel Hommes, MD, director of the UCLA Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. “We see a tremendous feeling of satisfaction in our patients, a sense of being in control. And because patients are doing a great job entering data that are important for the monitoring of their disease, physicians love this approach too. As the U.S. healthcare system moves toward a greater emphasis of quality outcomes and cost control, technology can make a huge difference.” Dr. Hommes believes his center’s approach, which employs iPads, smart phones and other home devices, can serve as a model for the management of other chronic diseases. The traditional approach to assisting patients with IBD has left much to be desired, Dr. Hommes says, so the UCLA center is implementing a new approach in which it tracks each patient’s value quotient (VQ) — a disease-specific data model that incorporates the annual burden of the patient’s disease (including factors such as disease activity, complications, medication side effects and hospitalizations); quality of life; and work productivity. Each year, an individual patient’s VQ is analyzed by the center’s professional staff to determine factors that influence the score and to devise a plan for the year ahead. “It is our mission to annually improve each individual VQ,” Dr. Hommes explains. Efforts to raise patients’ VQs are based on a tight control (TC) infrastructure integrating state-of- the-art healthcare delivery with translational research. The TC system for IBD care consists of well-defined care scenarios and clinical management based on the most up-to-date IBD practice guidelines. “This aims to make IBD care proactive rather than reactive,” Dr. Hommes says. A cornerstone of this strategy is the active participation of the patients in their own prevention-oriented care through technology. Patients are invited to enroll in four online programs: Academy, a personalized online teaching program that educates patients on the disease, treatments, home care and their individual care pathways; • My Work, which provides an in-depth analysis of the patient’s work ability given his or her condition, as well as assistance in finding a profession that fits them best; • My • WWW.UCLAHEALTH.ORG 1-800-UCLA-888 (1-800-825-2888) My Coach, a mental reinforcement program that addresses patients’ feelings of concern, isolation or depression related to their disease by helping to show the way to professional support; and