The following is a summary of “Diagnosis and Treatment of Iron Deficiency and Anemia in Youth with Inflammatory Bowel Disease” published in the November 2022 issue of Clinical Nutrition by Smith, et al.

In children and adults with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), iron deficiency (ID) with and without anemia is common but frequently goes undetected. For a study, researchers predicted that using quality improvement (QI) methodologies will enhance the identification and care of ID in young patients with IBD.

For patients with IBD, they created and implemented an easy-to-use algorithm to make screening for and treating ID easier. The strategy was altered through a series of Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles to boost ID screening and treatment. Statistical process control was used to evaluate data from January 2019 to July 2021.

A total of 298 patients with newly diagnosed inflammatory bowel illness (67% with Crohn’s disease (CD), 29% with ulcerative colitis (UC), 4% with indeterminate colitis, and 56% men) were included. The percentages of ID screening dramatically rose from a baseline of 20% to >90%. Around 205 (88%) of the 232 individuals who underwent ID screening throughout the improvement period matched the diagnostic criteria for either iron deficiency anemia (IDA) or ID (more precisely, 151 (65%) of IDA patients and 54 (23% of ID patients) at the time of diagnosis).

In children newly diagnosed with IBD, the use of QI approach to standardize screening evaluations for ID boosted screening rates from a baseline of 20% to > 90%, with 88% of patients identified to have IDA or ID.