GIs should educate, promote the value of colonoscopy to physicians, patients


01 December 2021

2 minutes to read

Source / Disclosures


Vicari JJ. Critical Conversations in IG Practices. Presented at: GI Outlook; November 18, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Healio was unable to confirm relevant financial information at the time of publication.

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The value of colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening is important from a business perspective and also from a patient care aspect, according to a GI Outlook speaker.

“I chose the value of colonoscopy because it is an important topic locally, both from a practice, patient and competitive technology perspective. Joseph J. Vicari, MD, MBA, FASGE, of Rockford Gastroenterology Associates in Illinois, said during the presentation.

Vicari noted that gastroenterologists have a strong understanding of the value of colonoscopy; however, they must compete with other technologies such as the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) of multi-target stool DNA.

Vicari highlighted the ways in which GIs may have a greater chance of effectively competing with these other emerging technologies.

Educate general practitioners and patients

Vicari said GIs can share the U.S. Task Force on Preventive Services’ colonoscopy guidelines with primary care physicians. Direct them to videos summarizing the task force’s findings and also speak with them in their office.

“GPs have the most influence over patients when it comes to patient decision-making, whether they will actually go through the tests,” Vicari said.

Then, after having educated the general practitioners, educating the patients.

“When it comes to educating patients, we want to start this process with office visits. After primary care physicians, we as specialists can greatly influence patient decision making or the choices they make for the tests they choose, ”said Vicari. “We spend time with our patients when they come to the clinic, discussing colon cancer screening, even if they are there for other reasons and our nurses also talk about it during the visit. ”

GIs can then refer patients to the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy website so they can view videos of patient testimonials and get them to continue with colon cancer screening, according to Vicari.

Promote the value of colonoscopy

Vicari said the GIs should summarize the PCP and patient level system that examines the different tests available for colorectal cancer. He said the first level would be colonoscopy and the FIT test.

Vicari said he focused on the fact that a colonoscopy is both a diagnostic and a therapeutic test.

“It’s a test, it’s not about getting a test like a FIT test, or the Cologuard (Exact Sciences) that is positive, so they need another test,” Vicari said. . “They can come in for a test and get everything treated in one visit. Another point that I would like to stress with patients is that there are less frequent tests in your lifetime with colonoscopy. “

Vicari said promoting the value of colonoscopy should be done at the local level. It could be done through a campaign or a program.

“Obviously as a practice we don’t have the deep pockets that some of the other competitive technologies have for advertising and marketing, but we can be effective locally,” Vicari said.


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