Why Digestive Health?
How do you know if your Gastroenterologist has the right qualifications and expertise? Here are four important questions every patient should ask before meeting with a Gastroenterologist or scheduling a colonoscopy or endoscopy:
- Is your doctor a board certified gastroenterologist? Gastroenterologists are considered experts in performing endoscopic procedures (Endoscopy, Colonoscopy, and Flexible Sigmoidoscopy). Studies have shown that Gastroenterologists perform higher quality endoscopic examinations when compared to other physicians. This translates into the more accurate detection of polyps and fewer complications from procedures.
- How often does your doctor complete the colonoscopy? Quality evaluation of the colon during colonosocpy consists of evaluating the entire colon and is defined as the passage of the colonoscope to the most proximal portion of the colon called the cecum. The term for this is called the “Cecal Intubation Rate.” Experienced Gastroenterologists should be able to intubate the cecum in >90% of all cases and in >95% of cases when the indication is “screening” in a healthy adult. Digestive Health Center regularly exceeds this standard at 99% for screenings and 98.4% for all colonoscopies (statistics YTD).
- How often are polyps detected by your doctor? Gastroenterologists may have variable skill levels for finding and removing precancerous growths of tissue called adenomas during a colonoscopy. Among healthy asymptomatic patients undergoing a screening colonoscopy, adenomas should be detected in >30% of men and >20% of women more than 50 years old. At Digestive Health Center adenomas are detected in 45.9% of males and 34.1% of females (statistics YTD).
- How many perforations has your doctor had? Perforation is the most serious complication in the short term during or after a colonoscopy. The rates of colonoscopic perforation vary widely in the medical literature. Considering all of the available data, perforation rates should be less than 1 in 1000 (.0001%) in screening patients. We have a perforation rate of .0003% screening colonoscopies YTD; therefore our perforation is less than half of the expected national standard.
Digestive Health Center voluntarily monitors physician quality indicators such as polyp detection rates, withdrawal times and complications and use the results to ensure a level of care that is better than national standard. Many hospitals do not monitor these results and have no oversight into the quality of their services.
In addition to our quality standards, there are a number of advantages to having your procedure at Digestive Health Center. Our facility offers patient registration, waiting rooms, procedure suites and recovery rooms all in one location, making your appointment much easier to navigate. We provide easy scheduling options and limited procedures which allows us to focus on our patients and delivering specialized personal care, typically at a much lower cost than a hospital facility.