ASGE Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the ASGE Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program?
Launched in 2008, the ASGE Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program is specifically dedicated to promoting quality in endoscopy in all settings where it is practiced in the United States. It honors endoscopy units that follow the ASGE guidelines on privileging, quality assurance, endoscope reprocessing and CDC infection control guidelines.
An important requirement of the program is attendance at an educational course entitled “Improving Quality and Safety in Your Endoscopy Unit,” at which the related guidelines are thoroughly reviewed. (Click here for course dates) Upon completion of the program and confirmation that the guidelines have been adopted, units receive an ASGE "Certificate of Recognition" for promoting quality in endoscopy. This symbol can be displayed to let patients and referring physicians know that the endoscopy unit is dedicated to delivering high-quality endoscopic care and has received specialized training around these principles. For a current list of honorees, click here.
Is the ASGE Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program an accreditation program?
No, the Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program is not an accreditation program. The program promotes excellence in patient care by recognizing dedication to quality in endoscopy. To successfully complete the program and receive a “Certificate of Recognition,” a center must show proof of successful and current accreditation by a recognized accrediting body (i.e., AAAHC, Joint Commission). The units must also remain accredited through the duration of the three-year “Certificate of Recognition” award.
What are the requirements of the program?
To successfully complete the program and receive a “Certificate of Recognition,” a center must:
- Show proof of successful and current accreditation by a recognized accrediting body (i.e., AAAHC, Joint Commission) – units must remain accredited through the duration of the three-year “Certificate of Recognition” award.
- Sign an attestation affirming that certain ASGE and CDC guidelines are adopted as minimum requirements of the unit policy (click here for program brochure to see specific guidelines).
- Have at least one representative of the unit complete the ASGE Recognition Course, “Improving Quality and Safety in Your Endoscopy Unit.”
- Submit the application and fee(s).
Do you have to be an ASGE member to participate in the program?
At least 50 percent of the endoscopists in each office/unit that is applying to the program must be ASGE members in good standing.
What settings (i.e. ASC, hospital, etc.) are eligible to participate?
The program is applicable to all settings in the United States where endoscopy is practiced, including office-based endoscopy units, hospital-based endoscopy units, and stand-alone ambulatory endoscopy or surgery centers.
For how long is the recognition good?
The “Certificate of Recognition” award is granted for a three-year renewable period. Certificate recipients may reapply for renewal every three years. A representative of the endoscopy unit will need to attend the course no more than one year prior to reapplication.
Is there any follow-up during the three-year period to ensure that the unit is still accredited by a recognized accrediting body?
ASGE checks for current accreditation when units apply for the program and maintains a list of all honoree accreditation expiration dates. In the program application, it is noted under requirements that "Units must remain accredited throughout the duration of the three-year Certification of Recognition award."
Does this recognition guarantee that the endoscopy unit will never have a lapse in infection control practices?
No, this recognition does not guarantee that an infection control lapse will never happen at an honored unit. This program is meant to improve quality and safety in endoscopy and therefore reduce the likelihood of an infection control lapse occurring. See description of the “Improving Quality and Safety in Your Endoscopy Unit” course below.
What is the application process?
- Submit Application: The Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program application must be completed by the medical director of the endoscopy unit(s). The application should be completed prior to attendance of a representative to the recognition course.
- Course Attendance: The single facility (or practice w/ multiple units) must send at least one representative to “Improving Quality and Safety in Your Endoscopy Unit,” an ASGE course specifically designed to review principles of quality and safety in endoscopy, as published in the guidelines. See the course brochure for details about CME credit for this one-day course. Click here for course brochure.
- Application Review: Once an office/unit has submitted the application and completed the program course, the ASGE Quality Assurance in Endoscopy Committee determines if the unit has met the requirements and will make a recommendation to the ASGE Governing Board.
- Board Approval: The ASGE Governing Board makes the final determination for granting the certificate. A Certificate of Recognition and other program materials will be sent to those units awarded the honor.
What are the benefits of the recognition?
As a benefit of successfully completing the program, endoscopy units will receive the ASGE Certificate of Recognition for Promoting Quality in Endoscopy, patient brochures - Ensuring the Safety of Your Endoscopic Procedure, access to advice from reprocessing experts and:
- Rights to use the “ASGE Recognized Unit” logo on materials such as letterhead, Web sites, and more.
- Public relations campaign material templates to support local media and marketing efforts. The public relations kit includes a press release to announce the achievement as an ASGE-recognized unit.
- Patient and peer recognition through display of the certificate and the use of the program logo.
- Public and professional recognition on the ASGE Web site through the posting of the unit’s name on a list of “Certificate of Recognition” awardees.
- Complimentary membership in ASGE’s Ambulatory Endoscopy Center Special Interest Group (AEC SIG) for the endoscopy unit medical director for the three-year duration of the recognition award. Note: The medical director must be a member of ASGE for the AEC SIG membership to apply.
- After the certificate is awarded, the office/center/unit may send additional representatives to the recognition course at a 25 percent discount on tuition.
About the “Improving Quality and Safety in Your Endoscopy Unit” Course
This course serves as a foundation for the ASGE Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program and is designed to promote discussion and provide a demonstration of methods to improve quality and safety in the endoscopy unit. This course includes modules on defining and measuring quality in endoscopy, recommendations for improving the quality in endoscopy units, a review of ASGE quality guidelines and CDC guidelines on infection control, and a demonstration of devices and materials used in reprocessing. This course also will help individuals charged with running endoscopy units meet these challenges and ultimately improve the quality of care that is delivered to patients. At the conclusion of the course, participants will be able to:
- Identify ways to define and measure quality in endoscopy.
- Describe techniques to make endoscopy more efficient while maintaining safety.
- Describe methods to improve patient satisfaction in endoscopy, including improved doctor-patient communication.
- Recognize the potential sources of infection from contact with various body fluids, their transmissibility during gastrointestinal endoscopy, and their susceptibility to potential disinfectants.
- Specify measures for improving unit quality, including training and credentialing for new procedures, data records, quality assurance programs, sedation and monitoring, and unit accreditation and re-accreditation.
See the ASGE course calendar for dates and to download the course brochure
About ASGE and Quality
ASGE is the profession’s leader in setting standards of excellence in endoscopy through its safety guidelines and the training of its members so that patients receive the best and safest care possible. The Society constantly reinforces the importance of quality among its members through member communications, such as emails and newsletters, and its CME courses, including "Improving Quality and Safety in Your Endoscopy Unit.”
For more information on infection control, see ASGE’s "Infection Control and Endoscopy FAQ" and the "Endoscope Reprocessing and Infection Control" media backgrounders
Reviewed September 2010