Simon Radley and Tariq Ismail are authors on a paper just published in the scientific journal ‘Frontline Gastroenterology’.
Colonoscopy is the gold standard and most commonly performed large bowel investigation. Completion rate is an important measurement of the quality of colonoscopy, our completion rates are regularly audited. Completion means reaching the end of and seeing the whole of the large bowel. The current required standard is to achieve completion in 90% of colonoscopies.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a much more limited examination and is used principally to look at the left colon and rectum and does not go all the way round the bowel like a colonoscopy.
The paper examines the conversion of NHS colonoscopy requests to flexible sigmoidoscopy instead, at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital endoscopy department. In the paper we have looked at the reasons for such conversions and recognise that in some cases ‘failed’ colonoscopies may have been recorded as flexible sigmoidoscopy. We recognised that there may well have been legitimate reasons for reclassifying the procedure but this does have the potential to alter an individuals audited colonoscopy completion rate. This paper is unique in reporting the potential for ‘gaming’ colonoscopy results.