GI Outlook
GI Outlook
August 01, 2019
2 min read

GI Outlook: Offering physicians, administrators ‘pearls’ to implement in practice

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Klaus Mergener
Klaus Mergener

Starting this Friday, August 2, Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease will be onsite in Los Angeles as the official media partner for GI Outlook, bringing the latest in practice management news to our daily feed. GI Outlook, The Practice Management Conference, is presented by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

Healio had the opportunity to speak with course director, and GI Outlook co-founder, Klaus Mergener, MD, PhD, MBA, FASGE, to hear about what is planned for this year’s meeting.

“What we tried very hard to do, and hopefully succeeded, is to create a program that is packed with critically important topics for both GI physician leaders and for practice administrators and present these topics in a very practical way,” Mergener told Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease.

As Mergener noted, attendees coming to GI Outlook are expected to visit from small and large practices, as well as urban and rural practices, and that variety offers attendees many opportunities to learn what is best for them.

“Each practice, at this point in time, has their own top five conundrums. One practice might have issues with recruiting to their rural area, and another practice may currently be working with a couple of disruptive providers,” Mergener said. “There’s always a host of issues, and they are quite different from person to person. The goal for GI Outlook is for each and every audience member to find two or three pearls that they take home to address whatever their current most critical issues are.”

Greater emphasis

Mergener noted that GI Outlook is different than most traditional clinical scientific conferences, where the goal is to present new clinical research or some new findings.

“We are placing an even greater emphasis on the interactive format,” he said. “Like every conference, we have a bit of a mix of formal lectures and panel discussions. But we are trying to weight this particular conference very heavily toward panel discussions and interactions between faculty and the audience. We should not be lecturing down from the podium as much. This is really more about networking, it’s more about the interactions.”

Future developments

Mergener noted that he views the whole weekend as “must see”, but did emphasize many of the keynote lectures will address critically important topics, such as the keynote from Theodore R. Levin, MD.

“Levin will essentially discuss his vision on how colorectal cancer prevention will evolve over the next 10 years,” he said. “That’s a critically important topic for GI practitioners because conducting screening colonoscopies to prevent colorectal cancer is a significant percentage of our day.”


Additionally, Mergener highlighted the keynote lecture from Bret T. Petersen, MD, FASGE, on Saturday, titled “Endoscope Reprocessing and Infection Transmission — An Update.”

“This is a hot topic in our field currently because ... there have been a small number of deadly outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections that were transmitted from one patient to the next via an endoscope,” he said.

Currently, as Mergener mentioned, instruments used to conduct endoscopies are reusable and are cleaned between procedures.

“The reprocessing, as well as how you get [endoscopes] totally cleaned and avoid infection transmission, is a very important topic and is at the top of the list for legislators and regulators,” he said. “Petersen will give us an update on current FDA regulations, and where they might think about going in terms of mandating certain additional steps for endoscope reprocessing.”

The update, according to Mergener, will be vitally important for attendees to hear, as well as what industry is doing to innovate around the topic of infection prevention in endoscopy.

GI Outlook aims to put the latest and greatest in practice management in front of the practicing gastroenterologists. Follow along here and on Twitter @HealioGastro for our ongoing coverage.