NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- A surprisingly easy and low-cost system of sharing treatment information improves dramatically the health of children with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, a study released today shows.
The initiative, called "ImproveCareNow," functions as an online information network, allowing caregivers to systematically collect and share data together about the latest treatment methods and their effectiveness. Creation and use of this kind of "global bulletin board" has led to rapid improvements in the health of those children participating. The study reports a dramatic increase in the number of patients in remission.
Even though ImproveCareNow focuses on Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the model could easily be used for care with other chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. And, it could do so at a fraction of the cost and more quickly than other approaches, like drug research and development.
"Until now, medical treatment has been largely a private affair, with patients and their caregivers working together as independent units. This initiative allows those in the health care system treating these diseases to compare notes frequently and to rapidly implement effective interventions," said Wallace Crandall, MD, Director, The Pediatric and Adolescent Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH.
The preliminary data being released today at a meeting of pediatric specialists shows that under the ImproveCareNow program, the percentage of patients in remission from Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis has increased more than 20 percent in a 27-month period. Translating this success to the entire U.S. population of children and teens with these diseases means 10,000 more children could be symptom-free now.
"Because it's hard to put new tools into practice, transforming health care will b
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