Improving inflammatory bowel disease health care in Alberta through precision health

Project Lead: Ellina Lytvyak, University of Alberta’s Department of Medicine

In 2014, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) clinic specialists from the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary joined forces to develop the IBD Clinical Care Pathways (IBD CCPs©), a series of algorithms identifying an appropriate sequence of clinical interventions and timeframes for IBD patients. The IBD CCPs have been proven to be effective in reducing emergency department visits by 40 per cent, resulting in more than CAD $540,000 potential health-care cost savings.


Integrative, safe approach for targeted IBD care

The goal is to deploy Clinical Care Pathways for management of IBD patients across Alberta, which could potentially bring advantages to integrate care among patients, community clinicians and IBD specialists located in Alberta’s tertiary centres (University of Alberta Hospital, Foothills Medical Centre).

CCPs are available in paper and electronic formats, as well as integrated into Electronic Medical Records such as eClinician EMR. They are a part of an integrative precision health model that targets the needs of each patient based on genetic, biomarker, phenotypic, disease behaviour and treatment characteristics. They analyze patient clinical registry information and clinical material (biobank), gathered through the CCPs’ value-added elements:

• IBD Patients’ Registry
• IBD Biobank (UofA)
• IBD Unit and IBD Clinic website
• IBD Quality Indicators
• IBD Dashboard

The CCPs program aims to maximize guideline compliance, improve communication between all parties and promote proactive care that involves patients’ decision-making, all while gathering essential data for measuring outcome quality indicators. This will help smooth workflows and conduct a more thorough follow-up of medications for better health outcomes and patient safety.