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I'm part of several communities. My family, my town, my kids' school and activity communities, and others. And though it's part of my job, I'm also part of the ImproveCareNow community. While l do less and less of the actual teaching at our Community Conferences - as more physicians, nurses, patients, parents and others step in to teach - I still get the joy of welcoming those who come together at these twice yearly events to nurture their relationships and connections. What an honor it was to do that again last week. I wanted to share my talk with you.

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What exactly do you do?

When someone in the healthcare world says she is a doctor, a nurse or medical assistant, her role is immediately understood. We have an ingrained understanding of what these roles encompass. When I tell others what I do, I’m usually greeted with looks of confusion.


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Fall 2016 Community Conference


ImproveCareNow Community Conferences happen twice a year. Together we work on developing and spreading quality improvement (QI) and research skills and approaches; fueling our Network's use of data to drive and evaluate QI efforts; and developing partnerships that will lead to improved care processes and outcomes in pediatric IBD.

In just two days we will welcome over 300 patients, parents, clinicians, researchers, improvers, collaborators, and supporters to the Fall 2016 Community Conference in Chicago, IL and we hope you’ll join us too. Here’s how:

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PVP helped my team get more kids into remission


Jeff Savarino and the team at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) are improving the clinical remission rate for kids with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (also known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD).

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Setting the course

There are so many similarities to travel and journeys in health care improvement. As an improver and innovator, as well as an avid traveler, it’s one of the appeals of this work. I love the big ideas—thinking about new routes to take together, throwing caution to the wind at times, and coming up with new approaches to reaching the destination. But I also understand the importance of a rigorous, time-tested QI process—a road-map if you will—to ground these adventures. So I wholeheartedly embrace the use of measurable goals, especially the 90-day variety. 90-day goals are the way that ImproveCareNow center teams shape and quantify their improvement ambitions—they help them set the course, assess whether they are on the right path, and finally, whether they have arrived in the right place.


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Keri's Story

Two years ago, in the summer of 2014, my once vibrant active little boy, Parker was very ill. Losing weight before our eyes. Every day, he was getting worse and we were in and out of the pediatrician's office and emergency room, until finally, the on call pediatrician suspected that he had Crohn's. He sent us to the Children's Hospital where we were introduced to the Pediatric GI and Surgery team at The University of Vermont. Two days later Parker had an Endoscopy and Colonoscopy, and we were given the diagnosis. 


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Just ask, don't stare

It is human nature to want to learn and question the world around us. It is natural for us to seek innovation, invent new things and express new theories. This is how we improve and how we have achieved the advances we have today. Nothing is wrong with this innate desire to learn and be curious, except when you’re the one that’s being questioned and or are the object of someone’s curiosity.

Until recently, I’ve never thought of what it would feel like to be under the microscope of society’s judgment. After all, I was just a “normal” teenager residing in a “normal” city, living a “normal” life. I was attending college, spending time with my friends, and trying to keep up with the ever changing social trends. However, a Crohn’s diagnosis can really change this so-called “normal” lifestyle, especially when it is paired with a seven week hospital stay, two major surgeries, TPN, a PICC line, multiple JP drains and a much more all within a six month time period.

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Deb's Story

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s in 1984. Very little was known about IBD. Hospitals were one shared information. Now over 30 years later....I never thought I would be a part of a collaborative network that's main goal is to share information and data. When our son was diagnosed with Crohn's disease....I felt like it was time to step up and have a voice.


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ImproveCareNow Registry Used to Evaluate Use of Concomitant Immunomodulators with Adalimumab Therapy in Crohn’s Disease

Adalimumab (ADA) is an important biologic drug used in the treatment of pediatric Crohn’s disease. In May at Digestive Disease Week 2016, a meeting of gastroenterologists from around the world, Dr. Keith Benkov presented research examining variation in the use of Adalimumab monotherapy and concomitant therapy with an immunomodulator in pediatric Crohn’s disease. The cross-sectional analysis was completed using data from the ImproveCareNow Registry (known as “ICN2”).


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