Assessment of quality indicators among nurse practitioners performing upper endoscopy
submitted 07 March 2017
accepted after revision 21 June 2017
05 September 2017 (online)
Background and study aims Limited international data have shown that non-physicians can safely perform upper endoscopy, but no such study has been performed in the United States. Our aim was to assess the quality of outpatient upper endoscopies performed by nurse practitioners (NPs).
Patients and methods Retrospective chart review of upper endoscopies performed by 3 NPs between 2010 and 2013 was performed. Comparisons among all NPs performing upper endoscopy and assessment of individual NP performance over time with respect to quality indicators were performed.
Results Three NPs performed 333 upper endoscopies (distribution of 166, 44, and 123, respectively). Of the cases, 98.2 %s were successfully completed to the second portion of the duodenum. In most cases, photo-documentation of required anatomical landmarks was performed: GE junction (84.2 %), GE junction in retroflexed view (84.2 %), antrum (82.1 %) and duodenum (80.9 %). Photo-documentation improved with increasing experience. NPs appropriately performed biopsies for specific medical conditions: 10/11 (90.9 %) gastric ulcers were biopsied and 63/66 (95.5) of patients with iron deficiency had duodenal biopsies performed for celiac disease. A physician endoscopist was required during the procedure 22.5 % of the time. Important parameters such as documenting informed consent (100 %) and documenting a discharge plan (99.4 %) in the procedure reports were overwhelming present. There was a single adverse event during the study period.
Conclusion In the first US study of NPs performing upper endoscopy, they were able to perform high-quality and safe upper endoscopies. These findings support incorporation of non-physicians alongside physicians to help meet the growing demand for endoscopic services across the United States.