Digital Rectal Exam in the Acute Hospital Setting: Bridging Patient Experience and the Physician Perspective

Link to article at PubMed

J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect. 2022 Nov 7;12(6):64-68. doi: 10.55729/2000-9666.1119. eCollection 2022.


The digital rectal examination is one of the key physical examination tools used in the assessment of gastrointestinal bleed, different rectal diseases and prostate disease. It is an invasive diagnostic test that has a significant level of patient anxiety and discomfort involved. Despite its many diagnostic utilities this exam has been vastly underutilised due to many limiting factors including lack of physician confidence with this bedside physical maneuver. This review includes patient's point of view and providers perspective on digital rectal examination in the inpatient hospital setting. Some of the contributors to negative patient experience include opposite gender of the physician performing the procedure, lack of procedural awareness and expectations and repeat examinations due to improper electronic health care record charting. A better understanding of the limitations and constraints involved from both the patient and physician perspective can help improve patient experience and overall clinical outcomes.

PMID:36816164 | PMC:PMC9924647 | DOI:10.55729/2000-9666.1119

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