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Gastrointest Endosc. 2003 Feb;57(2):183-6.

Effectiveness of open-access endoscopy in routine primary-care practice.

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The Division of Gastroenterology, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio 44106, USA.



Direct referral of patients for endoscopic procedures without prior consultation (open-access endoscopy) has become commonplace. However, the effect of open-access endoscopy on the care of patients in routine clinical practice has not been studied.


The impact of open-access endoscopy was examined in 168 consecutive patients referred from 8 primary-care practices to our tertiary hospital-based endoscopy center. The effectiveness of open-access endoscopy was assessed by review of office medical records at the primary-care practice sites for a minimum follow-up period of 6 months. Outcome measures evaluated included postprocedure communication between primary-care physician and patient, primary-care physician adherence to postprocedure recommendations, and the need for subsequent diagnostic evaluation and/or consultation.


The mean age of the 168 patients was 60 years; 56 (33%) underwent EGD and 112 (67%) had colonoscopy; 65% were from hospital-based practices and 35% from community practices. The indication(s) for 77% of the procedures met American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy guidelines for the appropriate use of endoscopy. An office follow-up was noted for 82% of patients after the open-access procedure. Discussion of results was documented in 61% of the patient charts. Compliance with diagnostic and therapeutic recommendations was documented, respectively, in 75% and 90% of patient charts. A follow-up GI consultation was requested for only 7% of the patients.


Open-access endoscopy in the primary-care setting is effective to the extent that subsequent GI consultations are rare and the level of compliance with endoscopist recommendations is high. However, documentation of communication of the results of endoscopy with the patient can be improved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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