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16.03.2019 | Original Article | Ausgabe 8/2019

Digestive Diseases and Sciences 8/2019

Improving Anemia in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Impact of the Anemia Care Pathway

Digestive Diseases and Sciences > Ausgabe 8/2019
Talha Qureshi, T. Peter Nguyen, Ruifei Wang, Diana Willis, Rajesh Shah, Jason K. Hou
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10620-019-05559-w) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Anemia is a common complication of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Despite existing guidelines for anemia in IBD, it is frequently under-treated and the prevalence of anemia has remained high. To address this gap, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation developed the Anemia Care Pathway (ACP).


To implement the ACP in a managed care setting and identify where it improves practice habits and where barriers remain.


The ACP was implemented from July 2016 through June 2017 and retrospectively studied. Run charts were used to identify shifts in iron deficiency screening and treatment as well as anemia prevalence. Results were compared to those of other providers in the same center not using the ACP.


640 IBD encounters were studied. In the ACP clinic (n = 213), anemics received iron therapy in only 30% of encounters at baseline but improved to 80%. Concurrently, anemia prevalence decreased from 48 to 25%. Screening for iron deficiency, however, did not improve. No shifts were seen in the non-ACP clinics (n = 427) across the same period despite awareness of the ACP and other guidelines.


Across 1 year, we observed gaps in the screening and treatment of anemia in IBD. Although screening rates did not improve, the ACP appeared to reduce missed opportunities for iron therapy by about half. Most importantly, this was associated with an overall decrease in anemia prevalence. Future refinements to the ACP should be focused on enhanced screening and follow-up.

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