For Patients with IBD, All Care is Not Created Equal
At Vivante, we’re the digestive health experts. We live for this stuff. Here’s a short summary of another academic article our gut health nerds found interesting…
It’s pretty obvious: better medical care tends to result in better outcomes. For people with IBD, though, quality of medical care varies greatly. Why is that, and what can be done about it?
First, what is IBD?
Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (commonly referred to as “colitis”) are digestive diseases without a cure. Collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s and colitis are life-altering conditions. Their symptoms range from diarrhea and abdominal pain to bleeding in the gut and weight loss. Patients with IBD go through periods of flare-ups and remission and cycle through these same symptoms every few weeks or months. The symptoms become a major life burden: expensive to treat, impaired quality of life, and a nearly constant source of distress.
Disparity in Care
Given the nature of IBD and the unique experience that each individual has, personalized, patient-focused care is very important. Unfortunately, the quality of care patients with IBD receive varies greatly from place to place. People who have easy access to comprehensive healthcare, knowledgeable medical professionals, and adequate resources tend to fare much better than people who don’t. (Well, duh but there’s more…) One study even reported that approximately 11% of IBD patients receive care that is not only not recommended for their condition, but potentially harmful to their health and well-being!
There is significant room for quality improvement across the board when it comes to treating IBD. This includes using and creating new outcome measurement tools to monitor how patients are really doing. As the article below states, doctors, patients and medical experts are still learning where to best focus and standardize their efforts so that more equal and equitable quality care is received by all IBD patients.
Source: Quality Improvement in Inflammatory Bowel Disease