Developing and Testing an Electronic Measure of Screening Colonoscopy Overuse in a Large Integrated Healthcare System.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Most existing performance measures focus on underuse of care, but there is growing interest in identifying and reducing overuse. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to develop a valid and reliable electronic performance measure of overuse of screening colonoscopy in the Veterans Affairs Health Care System (VA), and to quantify overuse in VA. DESIGN: This was a cross-sectional study with multiple cross-sections. SUBJECTS: U.S. Veterans who underwent screening colonoscopy between 2011 and 2013. MAIN MEASURES: Overuse of screening colonoscopy, using a validated electronic measure developed by an expert workgroup. KEY RESULTS: Compared to results obtained from manual record review, the electronic measure was highly specific (97 %) for overuse, but not sensitive (20 %). After exclusion of diagnostic and high-risk screening or surveillance procedures, the validated electronic measure identified 88,754 average-risk screening colonoscopies performed in VA during 2013. Of these, 20,530 (23 %) met the definition for probable (17 %) or possible (6 %) overuse. Substantial variation in colonoscopy overuse was noted between Veterans Integrated Care Networks (VISNs) and between facilities, with a nearly twofold difference between the maximum and minimum rates of overuse at the VISN level and a nearly eightfold difference at the facility level. Overuse at the VISN and facility level was relatively stable over time. CONCLUSIONS: Overuse of screening colonoscopy can be measured reliably and with high specificity using electronic data, and is common in a large integrated healthcare system. Overuse measures, such as those we have specified through a consensus workgroup process, could be combined with underuse measures to improve the appropriateness of colorectal cancer screening.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Saini, SD; Powell, AA; Dominitz, JA; Fisher, DA; Francis, J; Kinsinger, L; Pittman, KS; Schoenfeld, P; Moser, SE; Vijan, S; Kerr, EA

Published Date

  • April 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 31 Suppl 1 /

Start / End Page

  • 53 - 60

PubMed ID

  • 26951277

Pubmed Central ID

  • 26951277

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1525-1497

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11606-015-3569-y


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States