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Press Release

ASGE Launches Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program

Program promotes excellence in patient care by recognizing quality and safety in endoscopy

Oak Brook, Ill. – May 13, 2008 –  The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) announces the launch of a program specifically dedicated to promoting quality in endoscopy, in all settings where it is practiced in the United States. The ASGE Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program will recognize endoscopy units that follow the ASGE guidelines on privileging, quality assurance, endoscopy reprocessing and CDC infection control guidelines. ASGE is launching the program at Digestive Disease Week® (DDW®) in San Diego, Calif., May 17-22 at the San Diego Convention Center.

An important component of the program is an educational course that will thoroughly review related guidelines. The course agenda will include improving patient satisfaction, endoscopy-related infections, endoscope reprocessing, understanding quality metrics, designing and implementing a quality improvement program, training and credentialing, strategies for accreditation and re-accreditation, quality in sedation and monitoring, and more. Upon completion of the program, units will 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. The inaugural course “Improving Quality and Safety in Your Endoscopy Unit” will be held on October 17-18, 2008, in Oak Brook, Ill.

“ASGE members are among the most skilled endoscopists in the world. Through the Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program, ASGE is proud to acknowledge the high-quality units where our members practice. The ASGE Certificate of Recognition honors endoscopy units committed to the highest standards of safety and quality,” said Douglas O. Faigel, MD, FASGE, chairman, ASGE Quality Assurance Task Force.

About the Program

Two core elements of the program are 1) adoption of quality-related ASGE and CDC guidelines as unit policy, and 2) completion by a representative of the center of an ASGE course specifically designed to review these concepts.  The Certificate of Recognition award is granted for a three-year renewable period.

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.

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 (such as the AAAHC or Joint Commission); sign an attestation affirming that certain ASGE and CDC guidelines are adopted as minimum requirements of the unit policy; have a representative of the unit complete the ASGE Recognition Course, “Improving Quality and Safety In Your Endoscopy Unit;” and submit the application fee(s).

As a benefit of successfully completing the program, endoscopy units will receive the ASGE Certificate of Recognition of Quality in Endoscopy, patient brochures - Ensuring the Safety of Your Endoscopic Procedure, access to advice from reprocessing experts and more. For a list of the full benefits, log on to www.asge.org.

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 those offered at the upcoming DDW®. In addition, ASGE and the American College of Gastroenterology have partnered on a GI endoscopy benchmarking project that was started by Sentara Healthcare, a health system based in Norfolk, Va. To date, Sentara has voluntarily compiled data on more than 4,800 colonoscopies. The goal is to eventually have a national data registry available for members. This benchmarking tool will allow physicians to track their performance on certain quality indicators and compare their data against their peers. ASGE is currently involved in other quality measurement projects too. For more information on the ASGE Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program, ASGE guidelines and training courses, log on to www.asge.org.

Quality Measure Development

Dr. Faigel and John Allen, MD, MBA, representing the American Gastroenterology Association, are co-chairing the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement's® work group on Endoscopy and Polyp Surveillance. This work group is developing quality measures designed for use by physicians and for calculating reporting or performance measurement at the individual clinician level.

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About the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Founded in 1941, the mission of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy is to be the leader in advancing patient care and digestive health by promoting excellence in gastrointestinal endoscopy. ASGE, with more than 10,000 physician members worldwide, promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. Visit www.asge.org and www.screen4coloncancer.org for more information.

About Endoscopy
Endoscopy is performed by specially-trained physicians called endoscopists using the most current technology to diagnose and treat diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Using flexible, thin tubes called endoscopes, endoscopists are able to access the human digestive tract without incisions via natural orifices. Endoscopes are designed with high-intensity lighting and fitted with precision devices that allow viewing and treatment of the gastrointestinal system. In many cases, screening or treatment of conditions can be delivered via the endoscope without the need for further sedation, treatment or hospital stay.