iCHIP Application a North American first for blood disorder patients

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Empowering patients, improving care and support, and enhancing quality of life; that’s what the newly launched iCHIP application will deliver to patients across the province of BC.

The BC Provincial Blood Coordinating Office (PBCO) launched the Inherited Coagulopathy and Hemoglobinopathy Information Portal (iCHIP) on July 23, 2014 in Vancouver. iCHIP is the first web-based, secure application of its kind in North America. It helps track patients with rare, chronic and life-threatening conditions like hemophilia and sickle cell disease electronically through two components – a Patient Home Module and a Clinical Module.

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“The development and launch of iCHIP will have a tremendous impact on patient care. From a system-wide perspective, with patient care being provided in a more timely manner, it will reduce the acute episodes or crises that patients may run into if some of their signs and symptoms are not captured earlier on,” said Dr. John Wu, Pediatric Medical Director, Inherited Bleeding & Red Cell Disorders Program, BC Children’s Hospital.

Hemophilia patient Eagan and his mother Carmen, also spoke about the impact iCHIP has had on their lives.

“With iCHIP, Eagan can manage his own care and it empowers him to look after himself and his condition,” says Carmen. She adds the application also sends her a notification when her son’s blood products have arrived at the local hospital, saving time once lost for back and forth trips.

Patients with conditions like Eagan’s are usually treated with products from donated blood and may need frequent blood product transfusions. In the past, a patient’s at-home product use would be assessed by their clinician at their regular bi-annual or annual visit.

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With iCHIP, patients with inherited bleeding disorders record their infusion activities in their own home via the Patient Home Module. A real-time interface allows clinicians to monitor care in a more timely manner and helps prevent the onset of possible acute episodes which may require emergency visits or inpatient admissions.

iCHIP also enables clinicians to monitor how patients are managing their individual treatment protocols and their conditions as well as their home blood product inventory. By monitoring the information entered by the patient, clinicians can contact the patient and make changes to the treatment plan or provide additional education and follow-up.

Understanding how blood products are used at home will lead to better use of these life-saving products. In addition, specifically for inherited bleeding disorder patients, iCHIP can track a number of other items including orders placed with Canadian Blood Services and the measurement, use and waste of blood products relative to a patient’s actual dosage. It also provides medical staff across BC with the ability to access basic patient information including the patient’s product prescription. The program will allow for the ability to identify facilities with nearly expired products in order to facilitate timely redistribution, ultimately avoiding wastage.

Uniquely, it also enables care providers to upload existing patient documentation files as attachments to patient records and displays a synopsis page for each patient summarizing demographics, diagnosis, treatment protocol and recent product infusion dose totals so the health care team has the most recent patient status.

iCHIP contains highly sensitive patient information, and as such, strong security controls are in place to protect against inappropriate and unauthorized internal and external access. Access to the system is authenticated by the user’s ID and password. Additionally, access to information is granted on a need-to-know basis using defined role viewing privileges.

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iCHIP was developed in collaboration with the two BC Inherited Bleeding and Red Cell Disorders (IBRCD) program sites, Pediatric at BC Children’s Hospital and Adult at St. Paul’s Hospital, to support the unique clinical care needs of patients with blood disorders.

 

For more information on iCHIP, visit www.pbco.ca.