My Colonoscopy Experience | What are patient-reported experience measures (PREMs)? | Australians share their colonoscopy experience
Every person’s feedback about their colonoscopy experience is unique and valuable.
Your experience with the health system is an important and meaningful measure of quality of care that can be used for performance monitoring purposes and to drive quality improvement.
My Colonoscopy Experience only takes a small amount of time to complete, but it can have a big impact.
Measuring patient colonoscopy experience in Australia is long overdue.
Help us ensure the patient voice is heard, so that future colonoscopy care reflects what patients want and need.
| What are patient-reported experience measures (PREMs)?
Communicating the unique patient perspective is vital for understanding how to make services better and safer for patients.
Healthcare providers need to understand what ‘good care’ means to patients and exactly what patients experience during their care.
By asking patients questions about their experience using a PREMs questionnaire, it is possible to find out what processes are working well and where things need improvement, so that hospitals and healthcare services can fix them.
The My Colonoscopy Experience questionnaire allows you to report what the colonoscopy experience was like for you, as a patient, because as a patient you can see signs of high or poor quality that may not be seen by staff.
What will I be asked to do?
If you are aged 18-and-over and have had a colonoscopy, we invite you to provide feedback about your experience.
The My Colonoscopy Experience questionnaire can be completed using your desktop computer, smartphone or tablet.
User-friendly and easy to understand, it takes around 10 minutes.
The questions ask about your colonoscopy referral, pre-admission, care and treatment, interaction with staff, discharge from care and any post-procedure issues.
All responses are completely anonymous to ensure no one can be identified.
However, the option is available to include your contact information at the end of the questionnaire if you would like to share additional details about your colonoscopy experience or would like for a Bowel Cancer Australia team member to get in touch with you.
*Ghanouni, A; Plumb, A; Hewitson, P; Nickerson, C; Rees, CJ; von Wagner, C; (2016) Patients' experience of colonoscopy in the English Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. Endoscopy, 48 (3) pp. 232-240.
How will my feedback be used?
Your feedback ensures that the patient’s voice is heard.
With your help we can make real change happen by highlighting what Australians value most – before, during and following a colonoscopy – from a Colonoscopist’s communication skills to their technical ability and their control of discomfort during the procedure.
What else can I do?
You can help us amplify the patient’s voice by sharing the My Colonoscopy Experience questionnaire with anyone you know who has received a colonoscopy in Australia.
What if I have more questions?
If you have questions or would like to know more, contact our Helpline on 1800 555 494 during business hours, or send us an email.
| Australian's share their colonoscopy experience
In 2019, Bowel Cancer Australia released initial findings from the first national My Colonoscopy Experience questionnaire.
The questionnaire opened in September 2018 at the same time as the Colonoscopy Clinical Care Standard, created by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC).
While the Standard was a welcome first step in outlining the care people who have a colonoscopy should receive, it did not contain specific indicators to measure the patient’s experience.
“Communicating the unique patient perspective is vital for understanding how to make services better and safer for patients,” said Bowel Cancer Australia CEO Julien Wiggins.
“As more and more people share their experience, findings will help shape Bowel Cancer Australia’s initiatives and can be used more broadly as a valuable resource to inform policy, programs, and investment in colonoscopy quality and care,” Mr Wiggins said.
The responses from approximately 1,500 women and men across the country ranging in age from 18 to over 75 years old, who had recently undergone colonoscopy provide unique insights not previously reported.
Some of the better aspects of the colonoscopy experience highlighted by respondents included:
- clear information about what to expect at each stage;
- provision of guidance regarding the post-procedure process; and
- feelings of trust and confidence in staff.
Areas for improvement highlighted by respondents indicated:
- the referral process should be more proactive and timelier;
- more choice should be made available in terms of bowel prep; and
- all relevant information in the colonoscopy report should be reviewed with the patient.
Nine in ten respondents (94%) said a wait time of “less than 1 month” is about right, but most respondents (59%) waited more than the recommended 30 days from referral before receiving their colonoscopy.
Three in ten (32%) respondents indicated they waited more than two months; nearly one in ten of those (7%) reported waiting six months or more.
Respondents receiving their colonoscopy within the public health system reported waiting on average 2.5 months (150% longer than recommended by the World Health Organisation).
"Proactive and timely referral is imperative, especially for symptomatic patients and is something that Bowel Cancer Australia continues to actively campaign for," Mr Wiggins said.
Bowel preparation required for colonoscopy was cited regularly as the key area for improvement.
When asked what could have made the experience better, most respondents’ comments (41%) related to improving the bowel prep experience.
Nearly all respondents (97%) felt information about how to prepare for their colonoscopy was clear; however, most respondents (83%) were not offered a choice regarding the type of bowel prep medicine given.
Two in five (41%) respondents mentioned they would have liked more options.
Private hospital patients rated their experiences more positively than public hospital patients throughout the process, but both private and public hospital patients indicated the best part of their colonoscopy experience was positive interactions with staff (36%).
“With 1.1 million colonoscopies to be performed in Australia in 2020-21, the My Colonoscopy Experience questionnaire will remain open indefinitely – because every patient’s feedback about their colonoscopy experience is unique and valuable.
To share your experience, visit mycolonoscopyexperience.org.
For more information, download the report.