Colonoscopy quality in community hospitals and nonhospital facilities in Korea

Jae Gon Lee, Dong Soo Han, Young Eun Joo, Dae Seong Myung, Dong Il Park, Seul Ki Kim, Yunho Jung, Won Hyun Lee, Eun Soo Kim, Joon Seok Yoon, Chang Soo Eun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aims: High-quality colonoscopy is essential to reduce colorectal cancer-related deaths. Little is known about colonoscopy quality in non-academic practice settings. We aimed to evaluate the quality of colonoscopies performed in community hospitals and nonhospital facilities. Methods: Colonoscopy data were collected from patients referred to six tertiary care centers after receiving colonoscopies at community hospitals and nonhospi-tal facilities. Based on their photographs, we measured quality indicators including cecal intubation rate, withdrawal time, adequacy of bowel preparation, and number of polyps. Results: Data from a total of 1,064 colonoscopies were analyzed. The overall ce-cal intubation rate was 93.1%. The median withdrawal time was 8.3 minutes, but 31.3% of colonoscopies were withdrawn within 6 minutes. Community hospitals had longer withdrawal time and more polyps than nonhospital facilities (median withdrawal time: 9.9 minutes vs. 7.5 minutes, p < 0.001; mean number of polyps: 3.1 vs. 2.3, p = 0.001). Board-certified endoscopists had a higher rate of cecal intu-bation than non-board-certified endoscopists (93.2% vs. 85.2%, p = 0.006). A total of 819 follow-up colonoscopies were performed at referral centers with a median interval of 28 days. In total, 2,546 polyps were detected at baseline, and 1,088 were newly identified (polyp miss rate, 29.9%). Multivariable analysis revealed that old-er age (odds ratio [OR], 1.032; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.020 to 1.044) and male sex (OR, 1.719; 95% CI, 1.281 to 2.308) were associated with increased risk of missed polyps. Conclusions: The quality of colonoscopies performed in community hospitals and nonhospital facilities was suboptimal. Systematic reporting, auditing, and feedback are needed for quality improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S35-S43
JournalKorean Journal of Internal Medicine
StatePublished - 2021


  • Ambulatory care facilities
  • Colonoscopy
  • Community hospital
  • Quality improvement


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