Information for Colonoscopists

Page last updated: 09 January 2015

PDF version: New Combined Colonoscopy and Histopathology Report (PDF 388 KB)

New Combined Colonoscopy and Histopathology Report

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is an Australian Government initiative administered by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) which aims to help detect bowel cancer early and reduce the number of Australians who die each year from the disease.

Earlier this year the Australian Government announced expansion of the Program. From July 2013 the Program will be expanded to invite people turning 60 years of age, and in 2015 those turning 70 will be added. The Program will be further expanded in 2017-18, when a phased implementation of two-yearly screening will commence. Measuring the effectiveness of the Program and monitoring its performance relies on voluntary provision of data to the Program Register by health professionals.

In order to improve data collection rates, ease the administration burden and boost the quality of reporting, a two-year review of existing reporting mechanisms was undertaken by DoHA, consulting with colonoscopists from across Australia, to produce a new Combined Colonoscopy and Histopathology Report. This report supports streamlined data collection of colonoscopy investigations and the pathology results of biopsies taken at the time of examination. The report has been endorsed through the NBCSP’s Program Advisory Group and by GESA.

The report will be available in both hard-copy (paper) and electronic versions and has been piloted at a number of sites to solve any problems prior to its introduction and to make the process fast and easy.

The new report allows the colonoscopist to generate a partially pre-populated Histopathology Report (patient details, colonoscopist diagnosis and findings), which can be sent to the laboratory with biopsy specimens collected during the colonoscopy procedure. Importantly, the report assists the provision of important information to the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

The electronic version of the new report will be available on the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program section of the website, Cancer Screening, by the end of October 2012. SmartForm technology, allows you to complete the report on your computer and submit it to the Program Register online.

The Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) believes this report will significantly reduce the administration burden and improve the quality and quantity of data collection, ultimately leading to an improved cancer screening service for all Australians.

Questions about the new report can be sent by email to NBCSP at Department of Health. Top of page

Frequently Asked Questions about the Colonoscopy and Histopathology Report

1. Why has the new report been introduced and combined to include colonoscopy and histology biopsy reporting in one report?


To improve the collection of colonoscopy and histopathology from colonoscopic biopsies data by simplifying the reporting process. The new report collects a more complete set of data for colonoscopic outcomes.

2. Why has the report been combined to include colonoscopy and histology biopsy reporting in one report?


To improve the collection of colonoscopy and histopathology data as well as provide more complete and consistent information.

3. Why has a coding system been introduced?


To make it easier to provide the data and provide more complete data in a standardised, consistent format. The system was developed by pathologists and colonoscopists who provide expert advice to the Department of Health and Ageing on the operation of and improvements to the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

4. Has the profession been consulted?


Yes. The colonoscopy component of the report has been developed in consultation with colonoscopists and has been piloted in an operational environment to correct any problems before the report was released for general use. The report has been endorsed by the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA). Top of page

5. How do I send the histopathology section of the report to the pathologist?


The paper version of the report has extra copies of page 3 specifically for the pathologist. After you have completed the colonoscopy section of the report, the extra copies of page 3 can be sent to the pathologist with the specimens and any other paperwork. The electronic version of the report allows you to select to print an extra copy of page 3 to be sent to the pathologist with the specimen/s.

6. Can I submit this report electronically?


Yes. You can access the electronic version through the Program website Cancer Screening. You just need to ensure you have Adobe Reader Version 8.1 or later. The electronic version of the report can be saved, printed and submitted to the Program Register electronically.

7. Can I save the electronic version of the report with common information recorded (e.g. your name and provider number) and reuse the report?


No. At this time you need to download a new report each time you wish to lodge information with the Program Register.

8. Do I get an information payment when I complete the colonoscopy part of the report?


Yes. The colonoscopist will be entitled to an information payment when the colonoscopy section of the report is correctly completed and lodged with the Program Register. Further information is available on the Program website Cancer Screening.

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