Care quality and clinical outcomes vary considerably for colonoscopies

Research from Yale University in New Haven, Conn., revealed the quality of colonoscopies varies considerably among outpatient procedures, with many resulting in unplanned hospitalizations. The findings were published in the journal Gastroenterology.

Study authors examined data from 2010 medical outpatient colonoscopy claims to estimate rates of unplanned hospital visits within seven days of the patients' procedures. The study found roughly 16 out of every 1,000 outpatient colonoscopies resulted in an unplanned hospital visit among Medicare beneficiaries. That said, the rates varied across outpatient facilities, indicating a disparity in care quality.

The most common reasons for unplanned hospital visits were hemorrhaging, abdominal pain and perforation. Patients with a history of fluid and electrolyte imbalances or psychiatric disorders, as well as those over the age of 65, were more likely to end up in the hospital within a week of having a colonoscopy.

"We calculated a risk-adjusted measure of outpatient colonoscopy quality, which shows important variation in quality among outpatient facilities," concluded the authors. "This measure can make transparent the extent to which patients require follow-up hospital care, help inform patient choices, and assist in quality-improvement efforts."



More articles on quality improvment:
Quality improvement, hand hygiene initiatives needed in outpatient settings, study finds
3 characteristics of hospital products ripe for quality improvement and big savings
An environmental science response to eliminate hospital acquired infections

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