The following is a summary of “Pediatric Endoscopy Blocks: Enhanced Efficiency and Endoscopist Satisfaction,” published in the January 2023 issue of Gastroenterology and Nutrition by Barakat, et al.

Endoscopic treatments are increasingly done on kids and teenagers, and they constitute a major source of money and care in the field of pediatric gastroenterology (GI). Which scheduling approach, however, maximized the effectiveness of resource use and service delivery in this context was yet to be discovered. For a study, researchers sought to assess the effects of switching the scheduling of endoscopic operations in the tertiary care academic center from shared endoscopy blocks to individual, provider-specific endoscopy blocks.

A single endoscopist performed procedures over a half-day under the current endoscopic block system in a designated room, with most providers having 1-3.5 day blocks each month. They compared the 8-month period previous to the deployment of the block system (pre-implementation period) with the 8-month period after the implementation of the block system to examine block fragmentation (many providers in a single block), block usage, and process volume (post-implementation period). Pre- and post-implementation survey results were used to evaluate provider satisfaction and perceptions. The analysis used standard descriptive statistics.

Pediatric GI received 22 half-day blocks both before and after the introduction. The mean use of these blocks during the pre-implementation period was 65.9% (the range was 47%–77% ). The mean% utilization in the post-implementation period was 79.8% (interval: 64%-89%). In all, 419 endoscopic procedures were performed in the post-implementation period compared to 279 in the pre-implementation period. The block system improved providers’ perceptions of endoscopic efficiency; 68.4% of pediatric GI respondents rated endoscopy as “efficient” after adoption (vs. 19% before implementation), and 63.2% said the block system specifically improved efficiency. With the installation of the block system, a total of 63.2% reported an increase in their procedure volume, and 84.2% indicated a perceived rise in the volume of all procedures.

Endoscopic procedure scheduling strategies have the potential to improve productivity and patient and provider satisfaction. The endoscopic block system’s implementation was linked to higher procedure volumes, higher block use, and better provider experiences. Schedule modifications, together with study of related efficiency and satisfaction measures could improve the practice of pediatric endoscopy.