Variation in adherence to management guidelines for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) suggests variable quality of care. Furthermore, evidence suggests variation in patient outcomes by geography, race, type and experience of provider.

Quality indicators (QIs) have been developed to measure the structure, processes, and outcomes of health care delivery, and can be used to measure improvement over time. In IBD, several societies and groups have publicized quality indicators. Important outcome measures for IBD include rates of unplanned care, hospitalization, corticosteroid and narcotic use, health-related quality of life and symptoms.

Traditional methods for quality improvement can and have been applied to IBD. Efforts to improve care require sustained, iterative changes over time. Several examples exist of single-center efforts to improve processes of care. A quality improvement network has used the Model for Improvement to demonstrate improvement in patient outcomes over time including unplanned care and other outcomes. A pediatric improvement network has demonstrated improved remission rates over time. Quality of care for IBD can be measured and improved.

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