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Bardou, E.J. Kuipers, J. Sung. Statistical expertise: A.N. Barkun, M. Martel. Obtaining of funding: A.N. Barkun, E.J. Kuipers, J. Sung. Administrative, technical, or logistic support: Y. Lu, P. Sinclair. Collection and assembly of data: D.J. Jones, A.N.
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“One knows what needs to be done to produce a safe water supply, but if the appropriate checks are put into place but they are not monitored and verified, then it’s possible to assume that everything’sOK and the processes are being followed without actually documenting that its actually done on a daily basis or a weekly basis,” said Armstrong,a McMaster University associate professor and consultant gastroenterologist at Hamilton Health Sciences. Every year, about 1.6 million endoscopic procedures are performed in Canada, a figure representing about five per cent of the population. Despite how common the procedure has become, hospitalstend totrack incidents of improper endoscope cleaning that result in patient harm on an ad-hoc basis, says Armstrong. Thatmeans the public only learns of problems when the media covers large-scale events disclosed by the hospital. “From the point of view of how often it actually happens, it’s actually very difficult to know, because without appropriate tracking mechanisms, this may just go undetected,” he said. Dr. Armstrong said the Canadian Association of Gastroenterologists has encouraged Accreditation Canadaa non-profit organization that accredits hospitals to include endoscopy cleaning in its reviews ofhospital’s sterilization procedures, since many endoscopy cleaning units are separate from the central sterilization processes. However, Dr. Vearncombe, medical director of infection control at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, says the risks in incidents such as the one at the Quebec hospital are “almost immeasurably low.” Risk ‘not zero’ In many such large-scale adverse events, few or no patients are affected, she said. Such was the case for Sunnybrook hospital in 2003, when it was discovered that a prostate biopsy machine hadn’t been cleaned properly. The hospital contacted more than 900 men to test them, and not one infection linked to the machine was found.
Thanks to the total wait times data collected and provided by CAG, the WTA report is now more comprehensive than ever. “The CAG has been a source of robust information for our expanded focus on wait times”, says Dr. Chris Simpson, Chair, Wait Time Alliance. “Their data on total wait times for access to care, not just a portion of it, is extremely valuable to the WTA. It not only validates that total wait times are increasing, it contributes significant insight into the patient perspective on health care in Canada and reinforces the need for greater investments in timely access to care.” “With results over the last three surveys, we can plot trends in access to digestive care over a seven-year period,” says Dr. Sadowski. “Together with the broader WTA report results, we are better armed in future to work with our members to improve service and maximize available resources through programs like our Quality Program – Endoscopy (QP-E) and in our partnership with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC).” Every year, approximately 1.6 million endoscopic procedures are performed in Canada, and about 20,000 Canadians are diagnosed with colon cancer. In a report released by the Canadian Cancer Society on May 9, statistics show there is a decline in deaths from colorectal cancer due to increased screening efforts. “We are pleased that national rates in colorectal cancer are decreasing – perhaps a result of colon cancer screening programs and access to colonoscopy,” says Dr. Leddin. “This demonstrates that we can indeed make a difference.
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