Best Practice & Research: Clinical Gastroenterology, vol. 24, issue 4 (2010) pp. 451-464
This chapter explores the concept of quality assurance of colorectal cancer screening. It argues that effective quality assurance is critical to ensure that the benefits of screening outweigh the harms. The three key steps of quality assurance, definition of standards, measurement of standards and enforcement of standards, are explained. Quality is viewed from the perspective of the patient and illustrated by following the path of patients accessing endoscopy within screening services. The chapter discusses the pros and cons of programmatic versus non-programmatic screening and argues that quality assurance of screening can and should benefit symptomatic services. Finally, the chapter emphasises the importance of a culture of excellence underpinned by continuous quality improvement and effective service leadership.
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