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1.  The 2012 SAGE wait times program: Survey of Access to GastroEnterology in Canada 
BACKGROUND:
Periodically surveying wait times for specialist health services in Canada captures current data and enables comparisons with previous surveys to identify changes over time.
METHODS:
During one week in April 2012, Canadian gastroenterologists were asked to complete a questionnaire (online or by fax) recording demographics, reason for referral, and dates of referral and specialist visits for at least 10 consecutive new patients (five consultations and five procedures) who had not been seen previously for the same indication. Wait times were determined for 18 indications and compared with those from similar surveys conducted in 2008 and 2005.
RESULTS:
Data regarding adult patients were provided by 173 gastroenterologists for 1374 consultations, 540 procedures and 293 same-day consultations and procedures. Nationally, the median wait times were 92 days (95% CI 85 days to 100 days) from referral to consultation, 55 days (95% CI 50 days to 61 days) from consultation to procedure and 155 days (95% CI 142 days to 175 days) (total) from referral to procedure. Overall, wait times were longer in 2012 than in 2005 (P<0.05); the wait time to same-day consultation and procedure was shorter in 2012 than in 2008 (78 days versus 101 days; P<0.05), but continued to be longer than in 2005 (P<0.05). The total wait time remained longest for screening colonoscopy, increasing from 201 days in 2008 to 279 days in 2012 (P<0.05).
DISCUSSION:
Wait times for gastroenterology services continue to exceed recommended targets, remain unchanged since 2008 and exceed wait times reported in 2005.
PMCID: PMC3731118  PMID: 23472243
Access; Audit; Canada; Endoscopy; Gastroenterology; Wait time
2.  A survey of the practice of after-hours and emergency endoscopy in Canada 
OBJECTIVE:
To determine staffing and practice patterns for after-hours endoscopy service in Canada
METHODS:
A link to a web-based survey was sent by e-mail to all clinical members of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology in February 2011. A priori, it was planned to compare variations in practice among gastroenterologists (GIs) performing endoscopy in different regions of Canada, between pediatric and adult GIs, and between university and community hospitals.
RESULTS:
Of 422 potential respondents, 168 (40%) responded. Of the 139 adult GIs, 61% performed after-hours endoscopy in the endoscopy suite where daytime procedures were performed, 62% had a trained endoscopy nurse available for all procedures, 38% had access to propofol sedation, 12% reprocessed the endoscopes themselves or with the help of a resident, 4% had out-of-hospital patients come directly to their endoscopy suite and 53% were highly satisfied. The adult endoscopists practising at community hospitals were more likely to have an anesthetist attend the procedure. Regional differences were noted, with more involvement of anesthetists (13%) and availability of propofol (50%) in Ontario, more frequent reprocessing of endoscopes in the central reprocessing units in British Columbia (78%) and almost universal availability of a trained endoscopy nurse (96%) with concomitant higher endoscopist satisfaction (84% highly satisfied) in Alberta.
CONCLUSIONS:
More than one-third of surveyed endoscopists across the country do not have a trained endoscopy nurse to assist in after-hours endoscopy – the time period when urgent patients often present and typically require therapeutic endoscopic interventions. There are significant regional differences in the practice of after-hours endoscopy in Canada.
PMCID: PMC3551559  PMID: 23248785
Emergency care; Endoscopy; Staffing; Standards
3.  A survey of sedation practices for colonoscopy in Canada 
BACKGROUND:
There are limited data regarding the use of sedation for colonoscopy and concomitant monitoring practices in different countries.
METHODS:
A survey was mailed to 445 clinician members of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology and 80 members of the Canadian Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons in May and June 2009.
RESULTS:
Sixty-five per cent of Canadian Association of Gastroenterology members and 69% of Canadian Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons members responded with the full survey. Most endoscopists reported using sedation for more than 90% of colonoscopies. The most common sedation regimen was a combination of midazolam and fentanyl. Propofol, either alone or with another drug, was used in 12% of cases. A higher proportion (94%) of adult gastroenterologists who routinely used propofol were highly satisfied compared with those using other sedative agents (45%; P<0.001). Fifty per cent of adult gastroenterologists and 29% of surgeons who were not currently using propofol expressed interest in starting to use it for routine colonoscopies. Only a single nurse was present in the endoscopy room during colonoscopy performed by two-thirds of the endoscopists.
CONCLUSIONS:
Results of the present survey suggest that gastroenterologists in Canada use sedation for colonoscopy in more than 90% of their patients. There was higher satisfaction among gastroenterologists who used propofol routinely for all colonoscopies. Most endoscopy rooms were staffed by a single nurse, which may limit further increases in the use of propofol. Further studies are needed to determine optimal staffing of endoscopy units with and without the use of propofol. Sedation practices of general surgery endoscopists need to be evaluated.
PMCID: PMC3115005  PMID: 21647459
Canada; Colonoscopy; Endoscopy room staffing; Propofol; Sedation

Results 1-3 (3)