To scope, or not to scope

In Central Queensland, News, Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay by Jasmin Midgley

Have you heard of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care?

Well, it’s a thing. The Commission has been developing national clinical standards for several high-impact conditions and interventions. These standards aim to improve the appropriate use of evidence-based clinical interventions.

The Commission has published a Colonoscopy Clinical Care Standard, which has been endorsed by ten key professional organisations and colleges.

The Standard outlines minimum care practices for performing colonoscopies, but also emphasises the importance of evidence-based indications for the procedure.

The evidence-based indications for colonoscopy were updated in 2018; taken from work done by the Cancer Council and approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

When considering if your patient requires a colonoscopy, particularly for polyp surveillance or family history risk, make yourself familiar with these new guidelines.

To make life easier for everyone, the guidelines have been incorporated into Sunshine Coast HealthPathways in an easy-to-read format.

The relevant pages are colorectal polyp surveillance and bowel cancer screening.

If you are using Smart Referrals, it’s even easier.

Simply choose “Polyp surveillance – Gastroenterology” or “Bowel cancer screening – Gastroenterology” from the condition and specialty drop-down list. The template automatically populates with the referral criteria for colonoscopy.

If you are not yet using Smart Referrals, an updated SCHHS Open Access Endoscopy RTF template is available for importing into the Best Practice or Medical Director letter-writer. The template can be downloaded from the PHN website.

Dr Jon Harper

June 2019