ImproveCareNow Steve_steiner


Perianal Crohn’s Disease is Associated with Low Ultraviolet Light Exposure

Perianal fistulas are a common complication of Crohn’s disease in children. At Digestive Diseases Week (DDW) 2016 Dr. Jeremy Adler (@jeremyadlermd) presented research investigating whether low ultraviolet light (UV) exposure is associated with risk of perianal disease in pediatric patients with Crohn’s disease. This research builds on Dr. Adler’s investigation of instances of perianal disease accepted for publication in J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2016 (in press).

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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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Research Prioritization Update: Join a Research Team

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The goal of medical research is to find answers that will improve the lives of patients. ImproveCareNow is committed to ensuring the research we support is answering the questions that matter most and will have the greatest potential to impact our community. During 2015, the ImproveCareNow community identified the most important areas where we should be focusing research. Through the Patient Priorities platform, suggestions were submitted for over 200 pediatric IBD research topics. This list was then refined and condensed to 22 unique potential research topics.


The COMBINE Study

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Chinese philosopher Laozi, 6th century BC

With great admiration, I have been witness to the strides that ImproveCareNow (ICN) has been making in our research efforts. As co-chair of the Research Committee, I am able to observe all of the wonderful ideas that the community puts forth for consideration. As with any learning curve, every step is not smooth, and we occasionally stumble and fall. Our colleagues are next to us ready to offer a helping hand though.


ImproveCareNow Registry (ICN2) Provides Insight into Crohn’s Disease Complications

Perianal disease is an important complication of Crohn’s disease in children. In May at Digestive Diseases Week 2015, a meeting of nearly 15,000 gastroenterologists from around the world, Dr. Jeremy Adler (@jeremyadlermd) presented research investigating instances of perianal disease (perianal fistulas, fissures and other perianal lesions) in pediatric Crohn’s disease, using data from the ImproveCareNow pediatric IBD registry (known as “ICN2”).

 

Identifying Perianal Crohn's Disease FINALUsing data from ICN2, Adler’s research team identified racial and regional differences in the development of perianal disease across multiple centers in the ImproveCareNow Network. Their research has shed light on when perianal disease most commonly occurs (early in pediatric Crohn’s disease) and suggests that early therapy should be aimed at fistula prevention. They concluded that the ICN2 registry is a valuable tool for population-based studies (like this one, which included data from many patients with IBD, across many different geographic areas), and suggest that more studies like this one be conducted to identify and evaluate preventative therapies for complications of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (like perianal disease).

 

This novel pediatric IBD research highlights the power of data, carefully collected and curated over time, to answer questions about complex conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and to shine light on ways we can work to improve the care and the health of patients in the near term.

 

ICN2 is the largest and fastest growing pediatric IBD registry in the world, with data from over 19,000 patients with IBD and 115,000 visits as of May 2015. The ImproveCareNow Network currently includes 75 participating pediatric IBD centers in 34 states and the District of Columbia and two in England, with nearly 45% of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis patients cared for by US pediatric gastroenterologists. The purpose of ImproveCareNow is to transform the health, care and costs for all children and adolescents with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis by building a sustainable collaborative chronic care network, enabling patients, families, clinicians and researchers to work together in a learning health care system to accelerate innovation, discovery and the application of new knowledge. Data in the ImproveCareNow registry is used for improvement, research and innovation.

 

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Editor's note: The ImproveCareNow registry (ICN2) has grown dramatically over the past several years, and now, from the research standpoint, we are beginning to see the fruits of that labor. Jeremy Adler and colleagues have used the registry to carefully describe a specific phenotype of pediatric Crohn's disease across the network. We are only beginning to scratch the surface in utilizing not only the registry, but also the rich community network upon which ImproveCareNow is built. More and different types of research efforts are coming, and hopefully, the number of studies will continue to grow as quickly as the number of centers and patients have grown within the network.


Using ICN Data to Investigate Health Disparities in Children and Teens with Crohn's Disease

[Editor's note: One of the unique aspects of research in a large network such as ImproveCareNow (ICN) is the opportunity for collaboration.  Jennifer Dotson and Michele Cho both submitted protocols to the ICN Research Committee to study racial disparities in pediatric patients with IBD.  Both are young eager investigators.  The Research Committee helped make a connection, and the result has been the start of important collaborative research utilizing the ICN2 registry.  This work exemplifies the power of the ICN network: the power of people and the power of data.  I hope you enjoy reading about the outcomes of their work.  Steve Steiner, Co-Chair, ICN Research Committee]




Kids in a circle on the grassUsing ICN Data to Investigate Health Disparities in Children and Teens with Crohn's Disease

 

By Jennifer L. Dotson, MD, MPH and Michele Cho, MD

 

Health care differences due to race have been shown to contribute to suboptimal healthcare outcomes for minorities and low-income groups. Identifying differences among those at-risk is an essential step to improve healthcare delivery and ultimately outcomes, and to reduce costs for all patients. For our study, we wanted to look at racial differences during the initial presentation and medical management of children and teens with Crohn's disease. Specifically, we wanted to determine if there were differences in disease severity and treatment with medications between Black and White children at time of diagnosis. The ImproveCareNow (ICN) network gave us the opportunity to look at a large group of patients from across the country and was a valuable tool in facilitating this work. ICN contains data collected at the time of outpatient clinic visits and is able to track patients over time. Data was pulled from the ICN database for all patients under 21 years of age with clinic visit between September 2006 and October 2014. We then narrowed the list of patients by including only those that had a visit within 90 days of their initial Crohn’s diagnosis.

 

We are in the early stage of this study and would like to share some of our preliminary results.

 

There were 1728 patients (Black=222 (13%), White=1506 (87%)) from 46 sites included. The average age was 13 years and 62% were male. Black children had more Medicaid insurance (39% vs. 10%) than White children. There were no differences by nutritional status, body mass index, or growth status. There was no difference in disease activity based on the short Pediatric Crohn’s Disease Activity Index, however Black children had more severe disease based on Physician Global Assessment. 0.9% of Black children had perianal disease as compared to 0.5% of White children. Anti-TNFα therapy (medications such as Remicade or Humira) was more commonly prescribed for Black children (17% vs. 11%).

 

Racial and socioeconomic disparities have the potential to impact healthcare delivery and Crohn’s disease outcomes. This study identified several differences among newly diagnosed children and teens with Crohn’s within an outpatient quality improvement network. Specifically, Black children were more likely to receive treatment with anti-TNFα therapy than White children. This difference does not appear to be explained by differences in age, growth, nutrition, perianal disease or standardized disease severity scores, but rather by subjective assessment of disease severity and/or consideration of additional information such as endoscopic appearance that is not accounted for by the short Pediatric Crohn’s Disease Activity Index.

 

ICN helped make this research project a reality by providing a rich data set and facilitating a successful collaboration of two young physician scientists. Realizing we had similar research interests in health disparities, we decided to combine our efforts and focus on a single, large project together. We are delighted to be working together on this, along with our mentor team, and are thankful for the encouragement by the ICN network.

 

Jennifer L. Dotson, MD, MPH is a pediatric gastroenterologist and research studying racial disaprities in IBD care using the ImproveCareNow registry.Jennifer Dotson, MD, MPH, is a pediatric gastroenterologist and principal investigator in the Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio. She conducts clinical research focusing on improving healthcare delivery and reducing healthcare disparities, and outcomes-based research in children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Her interests are studying hardships and barriers to care, and assessing potential health system solutions from the patient/caregiver perspective that impact clinical outcomes for children with IBD. When she is not taking care of patients and conducting research, she loves traveling with her family and spending time doing activities outdoors (hiking, kayaking, etc.).

 

Michele Cho, MD is a pediatric gastroenterology and research studying racial disaprities in pediatric IBD care using the ImproveCareNow registry.Michele Cho, MD, is a pediatric gastroenterologist working in the greater Chicago area. She is part of the Center for Children’s Digestive Health and is the physician lead for ICN at her site at the Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, IL. Outside of work, she enjoys running and participating in other outdoor activities. She is looking forward to summertime in Chicago.


ICN Survey Research - Let's Get Started!

What are the research assets of ImproveCareNow?


Certainly the large and rapidly growing database of patient information is beginning to be tapped as a research resource.

But the ICN community itself is a powerful resource as well!


The Research Committee has received several applications to conduct survey research. After asking the ICN community for feedback, the infrastructure is now in place to begin gathering a list of survey recipients, and we need you to sign up!

Why should you participate in survey research?



    • Your views are important, and you can make a contribution to advancing knowledge and building a stronger network.

 

    • Surveys are an important way to learn more about things such as research prioritization, trends in diagnosis and treatment, and how to build a better network.

 

    • You support your colleagues with your participation!




"Survey - based research within ICN gives us the ability to gauge how pediatric GI practitioners approach specific aspects of IBD patient care in a quantifiable manner. This augments our "real world" understanding of the practices and attitudes of health care providers within ICN and therefore, can highlight areas of clinical practice we can target in our quality improvement efforts." - Sandra C. Kim, M.D.


Because we recognize the flood of emails you already receive, the Research Committee elected to create an opt-in mechanism that will allow investigators to target survey research only to those who want to participate. Your ICN key contact person has the ability to add or edit the contact information of all your team members (including all of your providers) in the ICN Contact Management System. Simply have your key contact select the Survey Study List button for all team members who want to participate!

ImproveCareNow participants can sign up for survey research in the Contact Management System

Our success in survey research will depend on getting a large cohort of the ICN community involved - don't delay - it's time to opt-in!

Steve Steiner
Co-Chair, ICN Research Committee


Hi, I’m Steve and I am a Hoosier.

Steve Steiner is a pediatric gastroenterologist, hoosier and cochair of the ICN Research Committee

For those of you unfamiliar with the term 'Hoosier', it is used to describe a native of Indiana. No one really knows who came up with it, but I do share the distinction with John Dillinger, James Dean, John Mellencamp, Michael Jackson, and David Letterman. My mother is a nurse, but there was never a doctor in our family until I graduated from med school.


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