Adoption of Multi-society Guidelines Facilitates Value-Based Reduction in Screening and Surveillance Colonoscopy Volume During COVID-19 Pandemic

Alexander Hua Xiao, Stephen Y. Chang, Christian G. Stevoff, Srinadh Komanduri, John E. Pandolfino, Rajesh N. Keswani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: COVID-19 has caused a backlog of endoscopic procedures; colonoscopy must now be prioritized to those who would benefit most. We determined the proportion of screening and surveillance colonoscopies appropriate for rescheduling to a future year through strict adoption of US Multi-Society Task Force (USMSTF) guidelines. Methods: We conducted a single-center observational study of patients scheduled for “open-access colonoscopy”—ordered by a primary care provider without being seen in gastroenterology clinic—over a 6-week period during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each chart was reviewed to appropriately assign a surveillance year per USMSTF guidelines including demographics, colonoscopy history and family history. When guidelines recommended a range of colonoscopy intervals, both a “conservative” and “liberal” guideline adherence were assessed. Results: We delayed 769 “open-access” screening or surveillance colonoscopies due to COVID-19. Between 14.8% (conservative) and 20.7% (liberal), colonoscopies were appropriate for rescheduling to a future year. Conversely, 415 (54.0%) patients were overdue for colonoscopy. Family history of CRC was associated with being scheduled too early for both screening (OR 3.9; CI 1.9–8.2) and surveillance colonoscopy (OR 2.6, CI 1.0–6.5). The most common reasons a colonoscopy was inappropriately scheduled this year were failure to use new surveillance colonoscopy intervals (28.9%), incorrectly applied family history guidelines (27.2%) and recommending early surveillance colonoscopy after recent normal colonoscopy (19.3%). Conclusion: Up to one-fifth of patients scheduled for “open-access” colonoscopy can be rescheduled into a future year based on USMSTF guidelines. Rigorously applying guidelines could judiciously allocate colonoscopy resources as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Colonoscopy overuse
  • Surveillance colonoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology

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