Indy Gastro | Colonoscopy, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, constipation, endoscopy

We’re Keeping Score: Quality Measures at Indy Gastro

dr-morelliBy Dr. Michael Morelli, CPE

At IGH we pride ourselves on making sure you are our first priority. We value every patient who makes the decision to schedule an appointment and, if necessary, their treatment at IGH.

Naturally, the subject of gastroenterology can cause worry and also raise concerns about one's health. However, you can trust that we have an unyielding system and level of care that helps alleviate that worry in our patients. Our team's focus is to study and evaluate our patients in the most efficient and concentrated manner.

And we know that our methods are working, as our team scores higher than average in several the key areas of investigation compared to other medical units nationwide.


Essentially, we scan areas in a more complete way, achieve a greater detection rate for problems and make sure we spend a thorough time on patient exams. Our results reflect our desire to show patients how their welfare is our prime concern.

The team at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology (IGH) has attained a level of care that ranks us among the best in our field. IGH has implemented a quality program to directly measure how well our colonoscopy procedures are being performed compared to our professional societies’ standards for excellent care.

We exceed the national standards in the three key areas that matter most to patients:

  • Total area covered by the procedure
  • Detection of growths in the colon
  • Time spent with the patient

Total area covered by the procedure

It is important to know how often the physician performing your colonoscopy gets to the end of your colon (also called the cecum) so that the entire colon can be examined – this is called the cecal intubation rate.

If a patient is going to go through the effort and cost of having a colonoscopy done, they want to be confident that their doctor is going to be able to reach the “finish line" of the procedure and do a complete exam.

The national average cecal intubation rate is 95%, we are delighted that our team at IGH boasts a near perfect record; we have an average of 99%.

Detection of small growths in the colon

Polyps or adenomas, are small growths within the colon. While they are not cancerous, if they grow larger they may, over time, turn into colon cancer.

The main purpose of having a colonoscopy is for your GI physician to find polyps and remove them before they can turn into cancer.

However, all endoscopists are not created equal. As it turns out, some GI physicians are better than others at finding these polyps.

According to national guidelines, polyps are found 25% of the time in men age 50 and older as a result of a colonoscopy screening, while polyps are found in only 15% of females over the age of 50. However, the IGH detection rates are even better than the national guidelines – we find polyps in men 36% of the time and in women 25% of the time.

 Time spent with the patient

It is important that your GI physician spends enough time looking for polyps – so we track how long this process takes.

This time measures how long the physician performing your colonoscopy spends looking at your colon looking for polyps when withdrawing the scope.

The national benchmark recommendation for withdrawal time is 6 minutes. The IGH average withdrawal time is over 8 minutes. By measuring ourselves against national benchmark standards, we at IGH will continue striving to provide the highest quality of care possible.

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