Interventional gastroenterology

Getting colonoscopy right will improve access

Wednesday, 29 Nov 2017


The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) has released a draft Colonoscopy Clinical Care Standard for consultation.

The Standard, part of the Safety and Quality Model for Colonoscopy Services in Australia, reflects current clinical guidelines and reinforces quality initiatives by the profession such as GESA’s re-certification program for colonoscopists.

It comprises nine quality statements – initial assessment and referral, appropriate and timely colonoscopy, informed decision-making and consent, bowel preparation, sedation, clinicians, procedure, discharge, reporting and follow-up.

Each concise statement is supported by further information tailored for patients, clinicians and health services.

Gastroenterologist and senior medical adviser to the Commission Professor Anne Duggan told the limbic the Standard was developed in accordance with evidence and with input from clinical expertise relevant to each statement.

For example, the statement on sedation was supported by the Australian and New Zealand College of Anesthetists; the statement on appropriate and timely colonoscopy by Cancer Council Australia recommendations.

“In general, this Standard reflects a view that is shared by anybody who is up to date with the literature. We’ve pulled together all the people we felt should have a say in developing these statements, including partnering with consumer groups.”

“We know the areas where safety falls down is where we don’t communicate between primary and secondary care, where we’re not achieving timely colonoscopy, in poor bowel preparation or not taking the time for a thorough procedure.”

Professor Duggan said implementation of the Standard would contribute to improving access to colonoscopy for the people who needed it most.

“This Standard says we must try to follow evidence-based guidelines and that will have a big impact on improving access. For example, if we bring people back too frequently, they are taking the space from somebody else. If someone fails prep, they also need to have another colonoscopy. We can ensure they aren’t coming back because of that.”

Consultation on the Standard closes on December 29.

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