Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 1230–1234

The Quality of Colonoscopy Services—Responsibilities of Referring Clinicians

A Consensus Statement of the Quality Assurance Task Group, National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable


    • Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • Marion R. Nadel
    • Division of Cancer Prevention and ControlCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
  • John I. Allen
    • Minnesota Gastroenterology
  • Jason A. Dominitz
    • VA Puget Sound Heath Care System
  • Douglas O. Faigel
    • Oregon Health and Sciences University
  • David A. Johnson
    • Eastern Virginia Medical School
  • Dorothy S. Lane
    • Stony Brook University School of Medicine
  • David Lieberman
    • Oregon Health and Sciences University
  • John B. Pope
    • Louisiana State University of Medicine
  • Michael B. Potter
    • University of California San Francisco
  • Deborah P. Robin
    • American Gastroenterological Association
  • Paul C. SchroyIII
    • Boston University School of Medicine
  • Robert A. Smith
    • The American Cancer Society

DOI: 10.1007/s11606-010-1446-2

Cite this article as:
Fletcher, R.H., Nadel, M.R., Allen, J.I. et al. J GEN INTERN MED (2010) 25: 1230. doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1446-2


Primary care clinicians initiate and oversee colorectal screening for their patients, but colonoscopy, a central component of screening programs, is usually performed by consultants. The accuracy and safety of colonoscopy varies among endoscopists, even those with mainstream training and certification. Therefore, it is a primary care responsibility to choose the best available colonoscopy services. A working group of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable identified a set of indicators that primary care clinicians can use to assess the quality of colonoscopy services. Quality measures are of actual performance, not training, specialty, or experience alone. The main elements of quality are a complete report, technical competence, and a safe setting for the procedure. We provide explicit criteria that primary care physicians can use when choosing a colonoscopist. Information on quality indicators will be increasingly available with quality improvement efforts within the colonoscopy community and growth in the use of electronic medical records.


primary care clinicianscolorectal screeningendoscopistcolonoscopist

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2010