Kudos to the joint ACG/ASGE task force led by Irving Pike and Jonathon Cohen on the joint publications in the Red Journal and in GIE on “Quality indicators common to all GI endoscopic procedures”; “Quality Indicators for EGD”; “Quality Indicators for Colonoscopy”; “Quality Indicators for ERCP” and; “Quality Indicators for EUS”. Also endorsed by the AGA, this was a monumental effort both in scope and quality that exemplifies how our societies act successfully in concert for our interwoven constituencies. The combination of structural, process and outcome measures provide a wealth of concise and clear guidance’s toward standards to improve the care and reduce the variability’s related to GI Procedures and the operations of GI Procedure units.
Timely, as well, as just last month GIQuIC, the joint registry owned by ACG and ASGE and chaired by Irving Pike surpassed inclusion of the 1,000,000th colonoscopy into the database. GIQuIC continues to grow and remains the preeminent and predominant repository for quality documentation and improvement across the field of gastroenterology. As the authors of the ‘Quality Indicators’ state, “the quality of health care can be measured by comparing the performance of an individual or a group of individuals with an ideal or benchmark”. GIQuIC provides the opportunity to compare and to improve and to assimilate the structural and process measures, but to study how they impact on outcomes.
In a different vein, having just returned from the three day Advances in IBD meeting in Orlando where 2000 clinicians and scientists met I was struck by just how much pressure is placed on gastroenterology clinicians (physicians and our associates) regarding the treatment and long-term care for IBD patients. From therapeutic drug and safety monitoring and specialized surveillance to the largest number of quality measures that I am aware of for any specialty let alone a sub-, sub-specialty. The indicators are mostly process measures developed by the CCFA and AGA (documentation of disease location/extent, steroid-sparing, bone health monitoring, preparation for biologics with TB and HBV testing, immunizations, smoking cessation, etc.), with the goal to improve outcomes and to reduce complications from our increasingly more complex therapeutic regimens. I am not aware of any sub-specialty that is as sophisticated and dedicated to holistic quality of care for our patients. We should all be proud.
Stephen B. Hanauer, MD. FACG, ACG President