Cureus. 2020 Nov 12;12(11):e11453. doi: 10.7759/cureus.11453.
Background and objective Direct access endoscopy (DAE) allows hospitalists to refer patients for endoscopy without a gastroenterologist (GI) evaluation, potentially decreasing wait time and facilitating earlier discharge from the hospital. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of DAE for average-risk endoscopic procedures. Methods A retrospective chart review was performed by comparing patients who underwent a DAE with patients who underwent an endoscopy ordered by GI physicians at a tertiary care hospital. The procedure indications were obtained from the endoscopy reports and hospitalist progress notes. Appropriateness of each procedure was determined based on the guidelines from the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). Findings, procedure-related complications, and clinical significance were recorded. Results A total of 110 patients were included in this study; 40 were DAE and 70 were ordered by GI. The mean age of the patients was 55.5 years with 69 males and 41 females. In the DAE group, there were 31 esophagogastroduodenoscopies (EGD) and nine colonoscopies performed, while in the GI group, there were 58 EGDs, 11 colonoscopies, and one push enteroscopy. All procedures fulfilled ASGE criteria; 20/40 DAE and 53/70 GI-ordered procedures had clinically significant findings. There was one complication in each group. Conclusion DAE allows a hospitalist to order an endoscopy without consultation with a GI physician. This study showed that all DAE procedures had met ASGE criteria for appropriateness, with 50% having clinically significant findings and no difference in adverse events. These results suggest that DAE is safe and effective in evaluating hospitalized patients for average-risk endoscopy.