Prospective assessment of the impact of feedback on colonoscopy performance

G. C. Harewood, B. T. Petersen, B. J. Ott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: Colonoscopy is an operator-dependent procedure. The medical literature describes disparity in colonoscopy performance with respect to polyp detection, caecal intubation rates and procedural times. Aim: To assess prospectively the impact of feedback among a large cohort of colonoscopists on three performance parameters: caecal intubation rate, insertion time and withdrawal time. Method: In a prospective clinical study, procedural data from all out-patient colonoscopies performed by attending gastroenterologists at our institution were recorded routinely in a computerized database. Enhanced serial feedback was provided on a quarterly basis for three procedure parameters: intubation to caecum, insertion time and withdrawal time. Feedback (absolute value, % rank and group distribution) was sent by email every 3 months beginning with January 2005 feedback for all of 2004, and subsequently quarterly in April 2005 (for January-March 2005), July 2005 (for April-June 2005) and October 2005 (for July-September 2005). Results: Feedback was provided to 58 endoscopists with a median experience level of 8 years. There was a relative decline of 19% in incomplete procedures, with median caecal non-intubation rates decreasing from 4.7% to 3.8% following the introduction of feedback while median insertion times declined from 10.6 to 9.5 mins, P = 0.02. Median withdrawal times did not change significantly, 9.1-8.9 mins, P = 0.6. Conclusions: Feedback by email appears to improve colonoscopy performance, enhancing completion rates and shortening insertion times without compromising withdrawal times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-318
Number of pages6
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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