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Gastrointest Endosc. 1997 Feb;45(2):128-33.

A new system for defining endoscopic complications emphasizing the measure of importance.

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Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C. 20007, USA.



Currently, there are no satisfactory systems for defining, classifying, and/or scoring endoscopic complications, although it would be important for quality assurance, comparative studies, and outcomes research. Recently the term "negative outcomes" was proposed rather than "complications," and an approach that incorporates "measures of importance" was added to compare negative outcomes.


A system was developed that defines, classifies, and grades negative outcomes with a scoring system based on measures of importance. Information was recorded on a Morbidity and Mortality (M & M) form, which was used at a monthly quality assurance (M & M) conference. Several measures of importance related to the immediate negative outcome (O) were quantified (effect of the complication on completion of the endoscopy, change in level of care, change in number of hospital days, necessity for new invasive procedures). The disability (D), defined as a residual or chronic negative outcome caused by the complication, was characterized and scored. Death (D) was also characterized, the value varying with circumstances. As a quantitative measure, an overall ODD score was used.


One hundred twenty-three negative outcomes were retrospectively classified using the new M & M form and the ODD score was applied for 117 complications. Complications were ranked according to the ODD score.


A system for defining, classifying, and grading negative outcomes of endoscopic procedures is proposed with a quantitative scoring system that emphasizes measures of importance. The ODD score looks at the immediate negative outcome and also the separate long-term issues of disability and death.

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