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How to track and register adverse events and incidents related to gastrointestinal endoscopy

Ahead of print available from 27/06/2022
These articles are scheduled for publication in Vol. 85 (3) 2022

Author(s) F.C. Della Casa 1, L. Monino 1, P.H. Deprez 1, A. Steyaert 2, Ph. Pendeville 2, H. Piessevaux 1, T.G. Moreels 1
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(1) Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, University Hospital Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium
(2) Division of Anaesthesiology, University Hospital Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium

Background and study aims: Gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures have evolved significantly in the last sixty years revolutionising the approach to the diagnostic and therapeutic spheres of medicine. Despite the advantages of using natural orifices to the bowel, adverse events (AE) may occur following endoscopy. Systematic AE registration is an objective in every realm of quality medicine. Despite the obvious advantage as a quality indicator, tracking endoscopy-related AE is not evident. The current study aimed at tracking all AE of all endoscopic procedures during a 3-month period. The three methods used were voluntary reporting by the endoscopist and by the patient in parallel with retrospective data analysis of patients’ electronic medical records to allow capture of all AE and comparison of the three methods.

Patients and methods: During a 3-month period endoscopists and patients were requested to report any possible AE. At the end of the period, a systematic review of all patient files was performed to track all AE related to the endoscopic procedure or the endoscopyrelated anaesthesia. In total 2668 endoscopic procedures were reviewed.

Results: The total AE rate was 1.95%. Only half (51.9%) of all AE were voluntarily reported by endoscopists, the other half were extracted from the electronic medical record. There were no patient-reported AE. Although the majority (66.7%) of unreported AE were mild, these findings illustrate that voluntary AE reporting is unreliable. However, the retrospective tracking process proved to be difficult and time-consuming.

Conclusions: The current study highlighted that systematic registration of all endoscopy-related AE is feasible, but challenging because of multiple hurdles. More practical methods are warranted to obtain reliable and long-term data as part of endoscopy quality measures.

Keywords: adverse events, endoscopy, anaesthesiology, quality improvement
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
© Acta Gastro-Enterologica Belgica.