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Time to Endoscopy in Patients with Colorectal Cancer: Analysis of Wait-Times
Objective:The Canadian Association of GastroenterologyWait Time Consensus Group recommends that patients with symptoms associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) should have an endoscopic examination within 2 months. However, in a recent survey of Canadian gastroenterologists, wait-times for endoscopy were considerably longer than the current guidelines recommend.The purpose of this study was to evaluate wait-times for colonoscopy in patients who were subsequently found to have CRC through the Division of Gastroenterology at St. Paul's Hospital (SPH). Methods:This study was a retrospective chart review of outpatients seen for consultation and endoscopy ultimately diagnosed with CRC. Subjects were identified through the SPH pathology database for the inclusion period 2010 through 2013. Data collected included wait-times, subject characteristics, cancer characteristics, and outcomes. Results: 246 subjectsmet inclusion criteria for this study.Themeanwait-time from primary care referral to first office visit was 63 days; themean wait-time to first endoscopy was 94 days. Patients with symptoms waited a mean of 86 days to first endoscopy, considerably longer than the national recommended guideline of 60 days.There was no apparent effect of length of wait-time on node positivity or presence of distant metastases at the time of diagnosis. Conclusion: Wait-times for outpatient consultation and endoscopic evaluation at the St. Paul's Hospital Division of Gastroenterology exceed current guidelines.
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