IBD Self-management TransfOrmation Plan (I-STOP) via My Online Care
We have contacted you because you have Ulcerative Colitis and you have been well. As you know, historically we used to see you in clinic in person every few months, sometimes a little less often and sometimes a little more often depending on how you felt. The COVID-19 pandemic has made us think long and hard on how best to deliver care, safely and efficiently. As you may have realised in the last few months, we have switched most of our clinics to telephone or video. This has allowed us to keep in touch with you despite the restrictions we have all been experiencing. We would like now to go a step further.
We realise that when you are well, coming all the way to clinic might be a waste of your time. Even over a telephone consultation, we usually just ask you a few questions, check some tests and then list you for another appointment. NUH would like to move to a Digital Health process called I-STOP. The Trust has started to use a system called My Online Care which has been developed by the Trust in partnership with DrDoctor. You may know that we have been working with DrDoctor for the last couple of years to provide you with reminders about your appointments and we would like to continue this Digital Health by using I-STOP for our most stable patients. This will not mean that we will abolish our older tried and tested methods of face-to-face appointments. These will still be there if needed but we envisage that when well, patients can be managed remotely and if they get unwell they can progress to telephone or face-to-face clinics. Once your flare up is sorted you can transfer back to remote monitoring if you wish.
My Online Care has the facility to contact you routinely with a set of questions that we prepared through a link in a text message that you will receive 7 days before your condition is due to be reviewed. The questions will focus on your bowel frequency and if you are bleeding when you stool. As well as sending you the questionnaire we will send you a request for a faecal calprotectin test, this will be sent to you in the post. At the time of the review of your condition we hope to have the answers to your completed questionnaire as well as the results from the stool test. This will mean that we will have all the information we need to decide if you are doing well or not. If well, we will contact you via a text message to confirm. There will be nothing else for you to do and we can safely repeat the process in a few months. Even if you are well, if you want to talk to us about your condition you can call the IBD helpline and request an appointment. If the results are abnormal we will contact you via a text message to confirm and then automatically organise an appointment and contact you with the details. Please note that I-STOP will not replace your routine blood monitoring or your surveillance colonoscopies.
If you agree to be part of this new service there is nothing for you to do and you will automatically receive your questionnaire link in a text message and your faecal calprotectin test request in the post. If you do not wish to be part of this service, you can call us on the IBD helpline and leave a message stating your name and date of birth and stating that you are opting out of I-STOP via My Online Care. If you have any doubts or questions please feel free to contact us in the usual manner.
We thank you in advance for helping us make the IBD care in Nottingham even better
Dr Gordon W. Moran
Head of Service for Inflammatory Bowel Disease