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Archive August 2016 XVII, No. 8

6 Tips to Boost Your Colonoscopy Service Line

Here's how high-volume GI centers improve their efficiency and patient satisfaction.

Kendal Gapinski

Kendal Gapinski, Contributing Editor


endo facility EFFICIENT ENDOSCOPIES How do you run a successful endo facility?

1 Block scheduling
To keep things moving, block out morning and afternoon shifts for your GI docs. Let's say your facility has 4 procedure rooms. Schedule 4 doctors to come in from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m., and assign each to a room. After an hour lunch break, those 4 doctors leave and 4 more doctors come in for cases from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Having clearly defined a.m. and p.m. blocks with set start and stop times reduces any delays that arise when doctors shuffle in and out of facilities as they please, says Becky Johnson, RN, clinical director of the Lincoln (Neb.) Endoscopy Center.

"We block-schedule them so they each have 9 to 10 cases, and then they can grab lunch and head to the office," says Ms. Johnson. "It really works well to increase case volume and efficiency."

Another scheduling tip: Instruct patients to arrive 45 minutes before their scheduled appointment to leave enough time for insurance verification, admission paperwork and confirming rides home. Then schedule each colonoscopy for a half-hour time slot. "That seems to be enough time to complete the procedure and turn the room over for the next patient," says Carroll A. Harrell, RN, CAPA, director of the Princeton (N.J.) Endoscopy Center.

2 Patient education
Patients who know exactly what to expect before they set foot in your facility are less likely to arrive for their colonoscopies poorly prepped, which is a leading cause of delays, says Gerry Poitras, RN, BSN, manager of the Advanced Endoscopy Center in Vancouver, Wash. He says that after his center schedules a patient for a colonoscopy, staff asks the patient to come in for an in-office meeting where they dole out instructions. Then staff members call the patient both 4 days before the procedure and the morning before to ensure he understands how to do the bowel prep and that he has a driver in place.

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