Why do we ask questions?

As a Learning Health System, ImproveCareNow is actively listening and really values the input, ideas and experiences that community members have to share. They actually help us do better. Recently we asked community members to share an enteral nutrition (EEN) experience (if you had one) and we heard back from three people. We were able to share their stories here on LOOP, which led to more discussion, sharing and learning about EEN.

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In fact, interest in talking and learning about EEN across the ImproveCareNow Community has been so great that at least five ICN teams have tried different empathy-building exercises to get some real-world exposure to what patients may experience. Three teams have shared stories of their Enteral Nutrition Challenges – in which volunteers took 90-100% of their daily nutrition by formula for one week and some participants even tried placing nasogastric (NG) tubes.


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Other teams have replaced daily meals with nutritional formula for 24 hours. The Nationwide Children’s Hospital team shared some of their insights in a post titled Enteral Therapy on Trial on the Pediatrics Nationwide blog. Some have sampled formulas and tested ways to improve the taste, sharing their experience on our online knowledge commons – the ICN Exchange.

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At our Spring Community Conference all attendees were invited to ‘enter the risk pool’ and sign up for the “Liquid Lottery.” Many jumped in, and five people were chosen (plus one volunteer) at random to take 100% of their nutrition by formula for 24 hours. Read what lottery organizer, Noel Jacobs, wrote about the event in his post titled: A little experiment in drinking

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Many who have taken part in an EEN activity, and especially those who have real-life experience with enteral nutrition, have knowledge, know-how and ideas to share. Many have added their stories to the growing dialogue.

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How can stories like these fuel improvement work?

As an established quality improvement network, ImproveCareNow is skilled at gathering the “collective intelligence” of everyone who has learned or experienced something (like an EEN Challenge), or who has personal knowledge and ideas to share. We are able to translate this information into tests of change (i.e., adding an EEN section to an IBD handbook, sharing 200 calorie meal ideas or tips for making formula more palatable, sharing how-to videos for placing NG tubes) and try them out in the clinical setting. Data allows us to see which changes result in a real improvement and those changes can be adopted into clinical practice. Because we are an open, collaborative network we share seamlessly and steal shamelessly – meaning changes adopted by one center can easily be spread to others so we can improve care and outcomes for even more kids with IBD.

So, when you answer a question on Facebook or Twitter, comment here on LOOP, or share an experience or idea with us by email, remember that you are making a difference by fueling our improvement work and helping ImproveCareNow identify new ways to get kids with IBD better and back to doing the things that matter most to them. Thank you!

Here’s one question you can answer today:

What are your ideas for how you would like to get involved in IBD events at your local care center? What suggestions do you have to make these events work better for families with busy schedules?

Answer by emailing us at social@improvecarenow.org

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