IBD SA is the only private practice in South Australia, and one of few nationally, that holds its own Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) meetings. These meetings consist of a quorum of IBD Gastroenterologists, Dietitians, Psychologists and Colorectal Surgeons. Any films that are submitted for discussion are also reviewed by a radiologist from Radiology SA. Cases are discussed and a consensus on recommended treatment is given to the treating Gastroenterologist. This means patients get the benefit of a range of specialists to help improve their care.
The MDT meetings are held fortnightly and include all new patients, patients where there is a significant change of care required, and patients where better outcomes may be possible. If a more rapid response is required, specialists can contact the team via an encrypted messaging service and follow up at the next MDT meeting.
IBD SA is strengthened by its gastroenterologists having special interests within the IBD field. Patients gain access to this wider experience through the gastroenterologists’ interactions on their behalf.
Working at Flinders Medical Centre, Dr Spizzo, Dr Hrycek and Dr Edwards have developed an interest in the management of IBD in pregnancy. Dr Hrycek, one of the few gastroenterologists in Adelaide with dual training in internal medicine and gastroenterology, is especially well placed to manage gastroenterological issues in pregnancy. Patients with IBD should, and can, have just as good outcomes compared to those without IBD, and our aim is to ensure that when it is at all possible.
Patients who have had IBD for a long period of time are at increased risk of colorectal cancer. However, this risk is greatly reduced by having good disease control, and regular surveillance colonoscopies. Patients in whom it is felt are at risk of colorectal cancer can be enrolled by their IBD SA gastroenterologist into the SCOOP program, which ensures the provision of quality, evidenced based care recalling the patient to see their gastroenterologists at appropriate intervals. This program was developed by Dr Bampton, and is now one of the largest surveillance programs for patients at risk of colorectal cancer in Australia. (www.sagroup.net.au/services/scoop)
IBD SA has adopted the concept that diet can be a primary therapy for Crohn’s disease. Our dietitians and some of our gastroenterologists have completed courses in the CDED, and are more than happy to work with patients to maximise the clinical benefit of using diet in the control of disease. Our practitioners have been actively involved in research in this area at Royal Adelaide Hospital.
The psychologists who work with IBD SA have a keen interest in the mind-gut connection, and are active in research in this field. There is evidence that some psychological techniques may be beneficial in not only wellbeing, but also in disease control. This is part of the holistic approach to IBD that we feel is so important. Our practitioners are active in research in this area, examining the role of cognitive behavioural therapy and gut focussed hypnotherapy, as well as other approaches to the mind-gut axis that could be of benefit for patients with IBD.
IBD SA recognises that patients who live in remote, or rural settings can find it difficult to access specialist care. This is especially the case for Dr Hrycek, who grew up in country South Australia. We offer telehealth options, and our practitioners visit a number of country and remote areas in both South Australia and the Northern Territory.
Patients with IBD often have fatigue, and disordered sleep patterns. It is known that poor sleep can affect gut function adversely, yet there has been little research into this area in IBD. Dr Barnes and Dr Spizzo are actively researching this area in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Sleep Health (www.flinders.edu.au/adelaide-institutesleep-health). If you wish to be involved in this area of research, please contact the IBD nurse specialists for further information.
IBD SA is committed to providing as many treatment options as possible for patients with IBD. We have links with Flinders Medical Centre, the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Lyell McEwen Hospital. If there are clinical trials of new drugs that might one day be of use in IBD that might be an option for your care, we can refer you for these trials.
During this time, your care will be provided by the hospital where the trial is being conducted, although your IBD SA Gastroenterologist will remain involved and you will remain part of the IBD SA program.
Our specialists consult at different locations, with face to face consultations preferred for new patients or those with significant symptoms or issues to discuss. Phone consultations can be offered for follow up or routine appointments.
The gap fees for consultations vary based on the specialist, but for your gastroenterologist range between $66 and $96 for new patients ($35 to and $46 for pensioners) and between $32 to $52 for review patients ($22 to $32 for pensioners). If you are experiencing financial hardship please let the administrative staff know. We welcome both privately insured and uninsured (Medicare only) patients to the clinic.
For further information of fees please contact the site that you visit.
If you require endoscopy or colonoscopy our gastroenterologists have agreements with private health funds, so the only out-of-pocket cost would be the excess on your policy. If you are not insured, we can arrange the procedure at your closest public hospital, or you can self-insure at a private hospital (please discuss these costs with the administrative staff).
If you require X-rays (radiology) we recommend either Bensons Radiology, Jones and Partners, SAMI at the Repatriation General Hospital or Radiology SA.
By responding quickly to concerns and symptoms, through earlier treatment, we can usually help you avoid hospitalisation. If you have any concerns please ring your Gastroenterologist’s rooms, or email the help line. We aim to see you within 3-5 days, which may be with your own specialist or someone else within the team. We share an electronic medical record, so it is easy for any doctor to quickly familiarise themselves with your case. If you have been discussed at the MDT meeting it is likely that they are already familiar with your history.
If, however, hospitalisation is required our specialists work across a number of different private hospitals, including Flinders Private Hospital (www.flindersprivatehospital.org.au), Ashford Hospital (www.ashfordhospital.org.au) and Calvary Adelaide Hospital (www.calvarycare.org.au/adelaide-hospital). In very severe illness, it may be more appropriate that you are managed in a public hospital, in which case your specialist will organise that for you.
If you are insured, our gastroenterologists have an arrangement with private health funds, so the only cost will be if you have an excess on your policy. If you are not insured, we will organise care for you at your local public hospital.
IBD SA offers a rapid access clinic for:
You will be seen by a gastroenterologist specialising in IBD within a week of receiving a referral. A colonoscopy and diagnostic imaging will be arranged within two weeks, or as soon as possible after your appointment.
Please ensure referral from your GP is marked as ‘rapid access’.
IBD SA aims to provide the highest level of care. If there are aspects of you care you are concerned about, or wish for further clarification, please ask your Gastroenterologist or contact one of our IBD nurses. Sometimes things that may not seem that important can, in fact impact your situation.
On occasion we will audit our care, and you may be sent surveys to complete. These are voluntary, anonymous and any information received will be de-identified.
We may also run internal audits of our care through our electronic medical record to ensure we are meeting treatment benchmarks. If you wish to know more about quality and safety within IBD SA and SA Group of Specialists, please contact the IBD nurses.
We believe that the best care occurs in an environment of active research and reflection. IBD SA contributes to research into Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis through collaboration with the Flinders University of South Australia and the University of Adelaide, as well as the IBD Units within the public hospitals in Adelaide.
Over the last 10 years our specialists have co-authored papers in local journals, such as the Medical Journal of Australia, IBD specific journals such as the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis, as well as international journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine and Nature. There are many useful websites that provide information about Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. However, beware of sites that may provide incorrect or misleading information.