When Doctors Collaborate, Patients Benefit

IBD Qorus


  • Reducing anemia and malnutrition among IBD patients
  • Helping patients avoid emergency room admissions
  • Driving patients into remission and keeping them there

These are just a few of the goals of IBD Qorus® (pronounced core-us), a nationwide network of physicians who collaborate to improve the quality of care for IBD patients. And, they have good news to report.


Launched in 2015 with 10 care centers, the network has grown to include nearly 50 practices, treating more than 6,000 patients across the country.


“IBD Qorus can be described as a think tank of physicians sharing and learning best practices from one another,” said Alandra Weaver, Vice President of Clinical Quality and Research Innovation for the Foundation.


Participating IBD Qorus doctors enroll patients and ask them to report their symptoms, concerns, and healthcare use during regular doctor visits. This information—removed of any personal data—is combined into one database so that doctors can observe patterns, identify opportunities for improvements, and develop solutions that can lead to better health outcomes for their patients.


To address the above goals, IBD Qorus physicians identified anemia and malnutrition as common issues affecting IBD patients. They recognized that high-risk IBD patients can benefit from having a plan of action in place when an urgent issue arises. And they tested specific steps to drive patients into remission. 


Here are some results to date:


Anemia Care Pathway

People with IBD are at a greater risk of developing anemia. The most common cause is low iron, which can result from inflammation and blood loss from intestinal ulcers. To improve the detection of IBD patients with anemia, IBD Qorus designed an Anemia Care Pathway, which provides practical steps gastroenterologists (GIs) can take to screen for and manage anemia among their IBD patients.


Nutrition Care Pathway

IBD can take a toll on the body’s ability to properly digest food and absorb nutrients, which can lead to serious vitamin deficiencies and malnutrition. It has been estimated that 30% of IBD patients may be malnourished. To improve the detection of patients who are malnourished or at risk for malnourishment, IBD Qorus designed the Nutrition Care Pathway as a guide for GIs to screen patients for malnutrition and manage their recovery.


Urgent Care Toolkit

Looking at urgent care patterns in IBD patients, IBD Qorus clinicians determined that unnecessary emergency room (ER) visits and hospitalizations could be reduced among high-risk patients if they had a plan in place when an urgent issue arises.


After engaging in brainstorming sessions, IBD Qorus clinicians devised the Urgent Care Best Practices Toolkit* as a guide to expanding the availability of urgent care appointments for these patients. 


IBD Qorus physicians implemented the toolkit over a 15-month period and monitored patient visits to the ER during that time. The result was a 22% decrease in ER visits, a 21% decrease in hospitalizations, and a 50% decrease in opioid use among their high-risk patients. 



IBD Qorus physicians are striving to get as many patients as possible into sustained remission, and they’re doing this by using an approach called treat-to-target.** This approach involves selecting a treatment goal, such as steroid-free gut healing, to monitor over time. In this example, the doctor continuously monitors the patient’s gut inflammation and adjusts medications until the goal is met. IBD Qorus doctors are working together to figure out the best way to implement this treat-to-target approach in routine practice.


“One of the things that IBD Qorus does is it acts like a test kitchen for best practices,” said James Testaverde, Associate Vice President of IBD Qorus Implementation at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. “When participating providers identify strategies that work well, we aim to disseminate them to everyone caring for an IBD patient.”


Learn more about IBD Qorus here.


*The Urgent Care Best Practices Toolkit is part of a comprehensive module supported by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.


**Treat-to-target research is supported in part by a grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. 


You can make an impact on IBD cures! Please consider making a donation to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.