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Press Release

ASGE Promotes Quality and Safety in Endoscopy at Sold Out Course

Course is part of ASGE’s Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program

OAK BROOK, Ill.—November 3, 2008— The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) launched its Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program earlier this year and recently held the program’s inaugural educational course, “Improving Quality and Safety in Your Endoscopy Unit,” in Oak Brook, Ill. Over 150 doctors, nurses and other endoscopy unit staff members from across the country attended two sold out courses in October at ASGE’s Institute for Training & Technology.

Course directors Jonathan Cohen, MD, FASGE, and David A. Greenwald, MD, FASGE, along with a team of expert endoscopists and registered nurses, discussed defining and measuring quality in endoscopy, recommendations for improving quality in endoscopy units, ASGE quality guidelines and CDC guidelines on infection control. The course also included a hands-on portion covering endoscope reprocessing, endoscopy related infections and discussion of safe injection practices.

“Every endoscopy unit is responsible for infection control and providing the highest quality care possible to its patients. There is nothing more important than patient safety,” said course co-director David A. Greenwald, MD, FASGE.  “ASGE is committed to promoting quality and safety in endoscopy, and this course is among the many ways that ASGE is working to improve patient care. We’re delighted at the sold out attendance of this course and are currently planning an additional course in 2009 to accommodate the waiting list.”

The objectives of the course were for participants to 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.

According to course attendee and ASGE member John J. Brandabur, MD, FASGE, of the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, “We are constantly looking at ways to improve quality and safety in our endoscopy unit.  By participating in the Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program, we can reassure patients that our facility is following guidelines and providing them with the best and safest care possible as recognized by ASGE.”

ASGE’s Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program is specifically dedicated to promoting quality in endoscopy, in all settings where it is practiced in the United States. The program will recognize endoscopy units that follow the ASGE guidelines on privileging, quality assurance, endoscope reprocessing and CDC infection control guidelines.  An important component of the program is the “Improving Quality and Safety in Your Endoscopy Unit” educational course. 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.

This course is being repeated in 2009. To register, as well as for a list of full requirements and benefits of the Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program, log on to


Improving Quality and Safety in Your Endoscopy Unit 
February 21, 2009
The Venetian, Las Vegas, NV
Course Directors: Jonathan Cohen, MD, FASGE, and David A. Greenwald, MD, FASGE
To register, contact ASGE at 630-573-0600 or go to

Additional Faculty:
John L. Petrini, MD, FASGE,
Douglas O. Faigel, MD, FASGE
Thomas M. Deas, MD, FASGE
Irving M. Pike, MD, FASGE
Joseph J. Vicari, MD, FASGE
David Hambrick, RN

ASGE Institute for Training & Technology (IT & T)
The IT&T Center is a fully operational ex-vivo endoscopy lab, equipped with endoscopic workstations and capsule endoscopy workstations. Using the latest medical equipment and technologically advanced endoscopes, cameras, video imaging and computers, the Center faculty engages the participant in a hands-on educational format.


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 and 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.