OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 24, 2012) -
Attention: Health Reporters and Editors
"High quality colonoscopies and other endoscopy procedures are essential for the prevention and diagnosis of colon cancer and for the treatment of many other digestive diseases," says Dr. Dan Sadowski, President of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG) in response to recent news that a Quebec physician was found to have conducted incomplete colonoscopies on close to 700 patients.
"Endoscopy services in Canada are generally very safe," said Dr. Sadowski. "In Canada, the top priorities for gastroenterologists and other experts who provide endoscopy services are the health and safety of their patients. Regrettably, there are occasions when medical experts and health care facilities do not follow best practices, putting the health and well-being of their patients at risk. We have seen similar instances in other provinces, including Ontario and British Columbia."
In its ongoing commitment to improve health care for patients with digestive diseases across Canada, the CAG recently published Consensus Guidelines on Safety and Quality Indicators in Endoscopy. Developed in partnership with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the new national Consensus Guidelines provide those who deliver endoscopy services with guidance and new tools to measure and benchmark practices. These initiatives, which address quality and safety indicators, quality assurance, training, and credentialing and ethics in endoscopy, will ultimately result in a higher overall quality of endoscopy services.
"About 1.6 million endoscopic procedures are performed every year," says Dr. David Armstrong, Lead of the CAG Quality Committee. "With demand for services growing and exceeding supply, the CAG identified the need to develop clear, national guidelines, a quality program and educational resources to ensure safe, high quality endoscopic care for Canadians."
The Consensus Guidelines are available for use by all health care professionals in Canada who offer endoscopy services. They are an extension of programs the CAG has developed over the past decade to promote greater safety and quality in endoscopic services to Canadians. Among these programs is the Quality Program - Endoscopy (QP-E), a program that evaluates multiple components of endoscopy service from a patient-focused perspective. The Global Rating Scale-Canada (GRS-Canada), a key element of the CAG's QP-E program, provides tools for endoscopy facilities and endoscopists to monitor the quality of their services regularly and minimize the risk that patients will be exposed to the anxiety and potential harm arising from suboptimal endoscopic investigations.
About the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
The Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG) was founded in 1962. Its mandate is to support and engage in the study of the organs of the digestive tract in health and disease; promote the advancement of the science and art of gastroenterology by providing leadership in patient care, research, teaching and continuing professional development; and promote and maintain the highest ethical standards. The CAG has more than 1,100 members including gastroenterologists, surgeons, pediatricians, basic scientists and nurses. Visit the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology website (www.cag-acg.org) for general information and for a full list of the association's quality and education programs.