SAN DIEGO – The use of an Internet-based program to educate patients undergoing colonoscopy for colorectal cancer can reduce the likelihood of preventable cancellations, according to data presented at the 2012 Digestive Disease Week Annual Meeting.
Beginning in October 2010, researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center had all patients referred to the facility for a colonoscopy be required to watch an online, interactive educational program before scheduling the screening. The program provided an explanation of the colon and the colonoscopy procedure, but not proper bowel preparation. A comparative chart review of patients before (from Dec. 1, 2009 to June 1, 2010) and after (from Dec. 1, 2010 to June 1, 2011) the introduction of the program was conducted to determine its impact on colonoscopy attendance and/or preparation.
Across both evaluated periods, 3,155 appointments were made by 2,247 patients, with 707 patients having been assigned the online program and 643 having completed it. Of those who completed the program, 48% did so on the day it was assigned, with a median completion time of 3 days following assignment and 56 days prior to procedure.
Investigators found that viewers of the program were less likely than non-viewers to cancel appointments due to preventable causes such as non-attendance, transportation issues or the continuation of anti-coagulation or anti-platelet medications (OR=.656, 95% CI, .484-.888). The rate of poor bowel preparation remained consistent between viewers and non-viewers, both overall (OR=1.003, 95% CI, 0.66-1.53) and in subgroups according to age and gender.
“Having some kind of education available to your patients will improve their attendance rate, and it will improve their understanding of why they’re doing the procedure,” researcher Archita P. Desai, MD, told Healio.com. “But also, if you’re able to track the completion of that education, it identifies the subgroup of people who are at high risk of not coming to their appointment, or of having a very bad prep. You can then home in on those people [and] reach out to them.”
Disclosures: Researcher Mark Mulert is senior vice president of research and analytics at Emmi Solutions, LLC, which designed the online program. No other relevant disclosures were reported.
For more information:
Desai AP. #Sa1127: Colonoscopy Attendance and Quality After Implementation of an Internet-Based Educational Program. Presented at: the 2012 Digestive Disease Week Annual Meeting; May 19-22, 2012; San Diego.