In a video exclusive by Healio, Dr. Edward V. Loftus Jr. highlighted the advantages of using a multidisciplinary approach in treating intricate gastrointestinal (GI) cases, especially those involving inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Often, gastroenterologists handle patients with challenging GI conditions that may be beyond their specific expertise. A multidisciplinary approach ensures that they aren’t isolated in this endeavor. In a discussion with Healio Gastroenterology, experts from various GI care areas deliberated on how to make multidisciplinary care more accessible to all. Dr. Loftus, the Maxine and Jack Zarrow Family Professor of Gastroenterology at the Mayo Clinic, emphasized the importance of involving multiple care providers. For IBS and IBD cases, he suggested the inclusion of dietitians for dietary history and recommendations. He also mentioned the role of GI psychologists in addressing the stress factors in both conditions and teaching patients resilience and behavioral modifications. While larger health systems often employ this approach, smaller community practices might find it challenging due to limited access to specialists. However, Dr. Loftus pointed out that the initial step is to collaborate with familiar clinicians to set up regular conferences for discussing intricate cases. These sessions allow multiple GI specialists to offer their insights on challenging cases and decide on the most suitable treatment plan. Dr. Loftus emphasized the significance of involving colorectal surgeons, radiologists, and pathologists in these discussions, especially for complex IBD cases.
- How can smaller community practices overcome the challenges of implementing a multidisciplinary approach?
- What are the potential benefits for patients when a multidisciplinary approach is employed in their treatment?
- How can the medical community further promote and standardize the use of multidisciplinary care in GI cases?