Quality of Care Standards in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: a European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation [ECCO] Position Paper

J Crohns Colitis. 2020 Sep 7;14(8):1037-1048. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjaa023.


The management of inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] is complex, and requires tight control of disease activity, close monitoring to avoid treatment side effects, health care professionals with expertise in IBD, and an interdisciplinary, holistic approach. Despite various efforts to standardise structures, processes, and outcomes,1-8 and due to the high variability at the local, national, and international levels, there are still no clear definitions or outcome measures available to establish quality of care standards for IBD patients which are applicable in all contexts and all countries. For this reason, the European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation [ECCO] supported the construction of a list of criteria summarising current standards of care in IBD. The list comprises 111 quality standard points grouped into three main domains [structure n = 31, process n = 42, outcomes n = 38] and is based on scientific evidence, interdisciplinary expert consensus, and patient-oriented perspectives. The list of proposed criteria is intended to represent the position of ECCO regarding the optimum quality of care that should be available to patients. Since health care systems and regulations vary considerably between countries, this list may require adaptation at local and national levels. It is recognised that not all these criteria that have been identified as optimal will be available in every unit. However, ECCO will continue its efforts to develop and coordinate projects and initiatives that will help to guarantee optimal quality of care for all IBD patients.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease; European Crohn’s Colitis Organisation; inflammatory bowel disease; outcomes; process; quality of care; quality standards; standards of care; structure; ulcerative colitis.

MeSH terms

  • Colitis, Ulcerative* / epidemiology
  • Colitis, Ulcerative* / therapy
  • Crohn Disease* / epidemiology
  • Crohn Disease* / therapy
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Holistic Health / standards
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / standards
  • Patient Acuity
  • Patient Care Management* / methods
  • Patient Care Management* / standards
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'* / organization & administration
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'* / standards
  • Quality Improvement / organization & administration*
  • Reference Standards
  • Standard of Care / organization & administration*