“IBD quality register makes our work significantly easier”

Tampere University Hospital adopted the IBD register in autumn 2018. Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases require constant monitoring, and MyHealth service, which is integrated with the register, facilitates the monitoring. It also allows the patient to be more involved in their own care. “The use of a quality register makes our work a lot easier,” says gastroenterologist Airi Jussila.

“IBD quality register is not a conventional hospital register that simply stores data, but a system that helps us with our work. We fill in the initial questionnaire together with the patient. Later, we can easily get an overview of the patient’s situation: their medication and treatment data as well as their laboratory results.” Airi Jussila explains.

According to Jussila, the advantage of the IBD register is that it is part of the medical record system.

“Earlier, to get an overall view of the treatments of the chronic patient, we’ve had to go through several separate medical records. Now, we get all the data we need at one glance, easily update new information and check the latest laboratory results. For instance, if the patient has updated their MyHealth service since our last appointment, we can see how the new medication has worked.”

MyHealth facilitates the monitoring

Most patients develop IBD when they are around 15 to 30 years old, but the disease can start at any age. For all patients, monitoring the disease via phone calls and questionnaires is an important part of the treatment: they reveal the disease activity and the situation of the patient. 

“Since our patients are mostly of working age, the phone calls may come at an inconvenient time. The topics we discuss are very personal, so it is best to be able to offer the patients the opportunity to reply in private. MyHealth service is perfect for this: as a digital service, it can be used whenever it suits the patient best,” Airi Jussila emphasizes.

MyHealth questionnaire is sent to the patient before and after an appointment. The cycle is agreed upon with together. Depending on the replies, the patient either receives an “All clear”, a request to reply again in a week or to contact their health care provider.

“This way, we can avoid unnecessary appointments, but also instruct the patient regarding the treatment. Our nurses, who play an important role in a successful treatment, also benefit from the more versatile monitoring.”

“It’s not about the amount of appointments, but about the effectiveness of care”

Airi Jussila says that in the future, the quality and effectiveness of IBD care will be compared on a national level.

“The amount of appointments reveals nothing of the effectiveness of care. What counts is how well our treatments work. At the moment, the IBD register is in use at the university hospitals in Helsinki, Oulu, Tampere and Turku. We all cooperate with BCB Medical on a national level: it is vital that if there are changes made in the register, it has to work the same way for everyone.”

Tampere University Hospital has several plans and ongoing projects regarding the register. For instance, the medical students use the data taken from the register to study the responses to certain medications. Jussila believes the data offers plenty of material for research in the future.

“I warmly recommend the adoption of the register, because the benefits are obvious: it makes our work easier and the quality of care can be improved.”

Airi Jussila, Lic. Med.

Tampere University Hospital (Tays), Pirkanmaa Hospital District
Medical specialist
gastroenterology, internal medicine