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30th January 2020 Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Logging off from inflammatory bowel diseases

logging off from inflammatory bowel diseases

New software helps day-to-day management of bowel conditions

More than 800 South Australians with troublesome inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis have benefited from an innovative new software program that supports the day-to-day management of their conditions.

With help from The Hospital Research Foundation, the Crohn’s Colitis Care (CCCare) program has been rolled out at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, with the Queen Elizabeth, Flinders and Lyell McEwin sites hopefully following soon, joining several interstate and New Zealand sites.

Adelaide man Alan Cunningham, who was first diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2010 – a condition which causes inflammation in the digestive tract and includes symptoms of bloody diarrhoea and abdominal and rectal pain – said CCCare has improved how he cares for his condition.

“I feel as though I am in control of my own health destiny, I’m now managing Ulcerative Colitis as opposed to it managing me,” Alan said.

“I can log in to the system and enter information at any time, with the full knowledge that it is then instantly available to the IBD support nurses or the clinicians themselves.

“When I get into my appointment, we spend less time worrying about the admin stuff and more time talking about my health.

“At the end of my appointment, it produces a letter which can go to my GP if there are actions that my GP needs to be involved in, but also confirms to me what actions I have to undertake and what timeframe.”

Gastroenterologist Professor Jane Andrews said the RAH was the first site in the world to implement the software.

“The software has been really well received by patients and is highly valued by clinicians. It is improving our one-on-one care while also showing positive trends overall such as a lower reliance on medications and lower rates of active disease,” Prof Andrews said.

“The database is consolidated across many ANZ sites so we can identify trends and areas for improvement in care.

“Much of this would not have been possible without the valuable support from THRF and their donors, which has ensured we have secure access to the software with the aim of optimising IBD care and outcomes around Australia.”

Prof Andrews is Chair of a collaboration of IBD specialists called Crohn’s Colitis Cure which is driving the CCCare program. The group has now also launched mental health and quality of life modules within the software and has secured international funding to build a paediatric module.