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Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2019 Apr 13. pii: izz066. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izz066. [Epub ahead of print]

Improving the Quality of Inpatient Ulcerative Colitis Management: Promoting Evidence-Based Practice and Reducing Care Variation With an Inpatient Protocol.

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Division of Gastroenterology, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.
Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Palo Alto, California, USA.
Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, Walnut Creek, California, USA.
Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, San Francisco, California, USA.



Hospitalization for ulcerative colitis is a high-risk period associated with increased risk of Clostridium difficile infection, thromboembolism, and opiate use. The study aim was to develop and implement a quality-improvement intervention for inpatient ulcerative colitis management that standardizes gastroenterology consultant recommendations and improves delivery of evidence-based care.


All adult patients hospitalized for ulcerative colitis between July 1, 2014, and December 31, 2017, who received intravenous corticosteroids were included. On July 1, 2016, the UCSF Inpatient Ulcerative Colitis Protocol was implemented, featuring standardized core recommendations and a daily checklist for gastroenterology consultant notes, a bundled IBD electronic order set, and an opiate awareness campaign. The composite primary outcome was adherence to all 3 evidence-based care metrics: C. difficile testing performed, pharmacologic venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis ordered, and opiates avoided.


Ninety-three ulcerative colitis hospitalizations occurred, including 36 preintervention and 57 postintervention. Age, gender, disease duration, disease extent, and medication use were similar preintervention and postintervention. C. difficile testing was performed in 100% of hospitalizations. Venous thromboembolism prophylaxis was ordered on 84% of hospital days before intervention compared with 100% after intervention (P ≤ 0.001). Opiates were administered in 67% of preintervention hospitalizations, compared with 53% of postintervention hospitalizations (P = 0.18). The median daily dose of oral morphine equivalents decreased from 12.1 mg before intervention to 0.5 mg after intervention (P = 0.02). The composite outcome of adherence to all 3 metrics was higher after intervention (25% vs. 47%, P = 0.03).


Evidence-based inpatient ulcerative colitis management may be optimized with standardized algorithms that reinforce core principles, reduce care variation, and do not require IBD specialists to implement.


Clostridium difficile ; opiates; quality improvement; ulcerative colitis; venous thromboembolism prophylaxis


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