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The Importance of Endoscopy Video Recording


Video recording is the gold standard form of documentation for endoscopy, and may be mandatory in the near term. Below we highlight four key areas where video recording is having meaningful impact, and moving endoscopy forward through better performance and patient experience.

At Virgo, we and our clients both see and believe that video recording endoscopic procedures benefit the following.

  • Quality Assurance
  • Risk Management
  • Patient Experience
  • Training & Education

Let’s break it down:

Quality Assurance

In 2010, Dr. Douglas Rex of Indiana University Health published his team’s work on the ‘Impact of Videorecording on the Quality of Colonoscopy Performance.’ Given colonoscopy is highly operator dependant, lacks accurate documentation, and provides imperfect protection against colorectal cancer, Dr Rex and team set out to evaluate how recording colonoscopy impacts performance. The results suggest that the ‘extra set of eyes’ and the simple addition of video recording to traditional practice go a long way — improving the quality of mucosal inspection technique improved by 31% — concluding that awareness of video recording indeed improves performance of colonoscopy.

As healthcare continues to consolidate and organizations expand their geographic footprint, these findings suggest that video recording at scale may have material impact on longitudinal quality management and brand reputation protection.

Risk Management

If performance of colonoscopy improves by way of video recording, medical malpractice risk lowers. Yet in most cases today, colonoscopy is still not being recorded, therefore endoscopists rely on text notes and still images for protection. This is not enough, and adds tremendous litigation expenses to an already overburdened and wasteful healthcare system.

Video recording provides tremendous risk and quality protection for physicians. By recording procedures, endoscopists dramatically reduce expert witness and litigation expenses as well as ensure they have the evidence to demonstrate procedural efficacy.

With the understanding that video recording also goes both ways and may document insufficient performance, we at Virgo believe that performance improvement and patient experience are paramount and outweigh this potential risk to the operator.

Patient Experience

When performance improves, so do outcomes and patient experience-and that is what we are here to accomplish. When patients undergo endoscopy, there’s often anxiety and fear that accompany preparation. There’s an enormous amount of trust a patient puts in their physician, especially as it relates to GI endoscopy. To build trust with patients, we’re seeing a movement towards video sharing with patients-this provides peace of mind and comfort in knowing the procedure was thorough to both the patient and their next of kin.

Dr. Robert Ganz, Chief of Gastroenterology at Abbott Northwestern, shared with us how his patients consistently ask for a video recording of their procedure. When patients have access to this new level of information and healthcare data, it puts them in better control of their health.

Training and Education

To continue the trajectory of advancement in patient experience and quality in endoscopy through excellence and innovation, training and education are core principles. Comparable to athletes watching game film, doctors need case footage to support lifelong improvement, as well as train and mentor fellows and colleagues.

At the ASGE’s Institute for Training & Technology, where world-renowned thought leaders in endoscopy gather and train both experts and rising stars, video is a core component to training and education, enabling a new level of insights and collaborative peer review.

In closing, we hope the four topics shared why many endoscopists around the world have adopted video recording as gold standard practice. We commonly hear from physicians that most common ways to record procedures are costly, inefficient and noncompliant with HIPAA guidelines, so if you agree or have any comments or questions, we’d love to hear from you.

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