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P564. An innovative information technology tool to promote patient self-care - A web-based ‘IBD patient portal’

M. Naghibi, M. Bettey, J.R.F. Cummings, University Hospital Southampton, Gastroenterology, Southampton, United Kingdom


‘Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) standards group’ is a United Kingdom based organisation created to improve standards in the care of IBD patients. ‘IBD standards’ have highlighted the need for information technology (IT) to support patient care and to optimise clinical management through data collection, management and audit. Further calls for innovative patient care pathways for chronic diseases have been recommended by the NHS Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) agenda. At University Hospital Southampton an innovative web-based IBD Portal has been designed to improve patient access and encourage engagement with self care. This web-based service interacts with Microsoft HealthVault platform, which allows storage of health information from many sources in one secure online location, owned and controlled by the patient.


The IBD Portal provides an email based ‘Flareline’, current and past medication history, email and SMS reminders for upcoming outpatient and endoscopy appointments, patient access to verified relevant investigation results, food/stool/health diaries and facilities for tailored care plans. These features have been developed with patient consultation forums to optimise the functions offered. We are also taking advantage of existing innovative technologies, such as smartphones capable of ‘Near Field Communication’ (NFC) and NFC enabled weight scales. These weight scales upload data directly to patient records, where aims and parameters are set, which alert the clinician to the progress of the patient.


The IBD Portal was launched in September 2012. We have limited recruitment to n = 50 patients in the pilot phase, with n = 36 patients completing the registration process. The most commonly used function of the service has been the email ‘Flareline’ and messaging service. These email enquiries have been answered within one day for ‘Flareline’ messages and 1.8 days for non-urgent messages. Four patients have been supplied with NFC enabled weight scales with all patients using the devices regularly. The data collected using the NFC devices has lead to reliable clinical data and timely changes in treatment, particularly dietetic input and surgical timing.


The development of a web-based IBD Portal is an innovative addition to IBD services. It has the potential to improve patient care and develop new patient care pathways. We aim demonstrate cost effectiveness by reducing outpatient visits, reducing work load from phone based ‘Flareline’ enquiries and provide more information on local IBD services for patients. The next phase of the project is the incorporation of the Virtual Clinic to take advantage of functional already within the IBD Portal.