Wait Times for Diagnostic Colonoscopy among Outpatients with Colorectal Cancer: A Comparison with Canadian Association of Gastroenterology Targets
BACKGROUND: Timely access to colonoscopy is a nationally recognized issue in Canada, with previous studies documenting significant wait times for a variety of indications. However, specific wait times for colonoscopy among patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer remain unknown.METHODS: A review of all outpatient cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed at colonoscopy in London, Ontario, in 2010 was performed. Wait times from the date of referral to colonoscopy were reviewed and compared with maximal wait times established by the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG) stratified according to indication. Cancer stage at the time of diagnosis was compared with colonoscopy wait times.RESULTS: A total of 106 colorectal cancer patients meeting the inclusion and exclusion criteria were included in the study. Forty-six per cent of patients waited longer than CAG targets, with a mean (± SD) wait time of 79±101 days. Higher cancer stage was associated with shorter wait time, likely as a result of triaging.CONCLUSION: Long wait times for diagnostic colonoscopy among patients with colorectal cancer remain an issue, with a significant proportion of cases not meeting maximal CAG wait time targets.