McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

New clinic focuses on patient-centred care

by Susan Emigh
Published: October 16, 2009
Digestive Disease Clinic at McMaster University Medical Centre (MUMC)

For many people with chronic conditions, regular clinic appointments allow for appropriate monitoring by their physicians. However, for about 1,600 people in the wider Hamilton area with inflammatory bowel disease, regularly scheduled visits do not address their problem because their disease flares unpredictably.

A new Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Clinic has been established at the McMaster University Medical Centre (MUMC) of Hamilton Health Sciences to provide patient-centred care for IBD patients, who have conditions including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The clinic is affiliated with McMaster University’s new Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute, which will oversee research with patients of the clinic.

The clinic is being set up so that, instead of frequent regular visits, which may be a waste of time for patient and physician, patients may contact an advanced practice nurse promptly when they have concerns. If she is unable to resolve the issue specifically, a specialist gastroenterologist is available.

"This is a new model of care for IBD and gastroenterology for Canada, and our patients are very pleased," says David Armstrong, the coordinator for the IBD Clinic. Armstrong is an associate professor for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and a gastroenterologist for Hamilton Health Sciences.

The new IBD Clinic is located in the new Digestive Diseases Clinic at the McMaster hospital and features a waiting room with television and a fireplace. Electronic health records using the OSCAR system developed at McMaster will facilitate patient care and clinical research. Soon the system will be modified to provide patients with access to touch screen computers and printers so that they can obtain customized information about their condition.

In addition, a Complex IBD Clinic will be established, with a multidisciplinary team to include an advanced practice nurse, nutritionist, social worker, psychiatrist, surgeon and gastroenterologists to support patients with complicated or severe IBD.

Patients for the clinics come from an area reaching from Niagara Falls through Brantford and the Bruce Peninsula.

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