Drs. Dustin Loomes and Vojislav Jovanovic believe that quality treatment of IBD requires an integrated and cooperative approach among multiple specialties (Gastroenterology, General surgery, Internal medicine). However, developing the relationships and capacities for interdisciplinary cooperation can be difficult. The Vancouver Island IBD Forum, supported by a South Island Facility Engagement Initiative grant, aimed to build a foundation for these strong cross-specialty relationships and enhanced referral patterns. By engaging multiple specialties in dialogues relevant to their interconnected roles in IBD care, it was hoped that mutual appreciation and collegiality would be enhanced.
In May 2018, the first annual Vancouver Island IBD Forum brought together nearly 30 specialists and IBD nurses to network, learn, and discuss issues surround disease management on Vancouver Island. Lectures on IBD topics, breakout groups, discussion forms, and a review of the Clinic’s IBD Care Model enabled specialties to exchange knowledge, ideas, and perspectives, and participants to network and foster relationships with other practitioners.
Thanks to the success of the Forum, IBD care team members report improved familiarity and working relationships among physicians, as well as increased referrals of IBD patients for this enhanced team care. The Vancouver Island IBD Forum will now occur annually, with topics and enhancements made based on participant feedback and the changing landscape of IBD care.