Risk-based decision-making related to preprocedural coronavirus disease 2019 testing in the setting of GI endoscopy: management of risks, evidence, and behavioral health economics

Naomi Moy, Uwe Dulleck, Ayesha Shah, Helmut Messmann, Aaron P Thrift, Nick Talley, G Holtmann

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Background and Aims: Controversies exist regarding the benefits and most appropriate approach for preprocedural coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing (eg, rapid antigen test, polymerase chain reaction, or real-time polymerase chain reaction) for outpatients undergoing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, such as GI endoscopy, to prevent COVID-19 infections among staff. Guidelines for protecting healthcare workers (HCWs) from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection from outpatient procedures varies across medical professional organizations. This study provides an evidence-based decision support tool for key decision-makers (eg, clinicians) to respond to COVID-19 transmission risks and reduce the effect of personal biases. Methods: A scoping review was used to identify relevant factors influencing COVID-19 transmission risk relevant for GI endoscopy. From 12 relevant publications, 8 factors were applicable: test sensitivity, prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the population, age-adjusted SARS-CoV-2 prevalence in the patient cohort, proportion of asymptomatic patients, risk of transmission from asymptomatic carriers, risk reduction by personal protective equipment (PPE), vaccination rates of HCWs, and risk reduction of SAE by vaccination. The probability of a serious adverse event (SAE), such as workplace-acquired infection resulting in HCW death, under various scenarios with preprocedural testing was determined to inform decision-makers of expected costs of reductions in SAEs. Results: In a setting of high community transmission, without testing and PPE, 117.5 SAEs per million procedures were estimated to occur, and this was reduced to between .079 and 2.35 SAEs per million procedures with the use of PPE and preprocedural testing. When these variables are used and a range of scenarios are tested, the probability of an SAE was low even without testing but was reduced by preprocedural testing. Conclusions: Under all scenarios tested, preprocedural testing reduced the SAE risk for HCWs regardless of the SARS-CoV-2 variant. Benefits of preprocedural testing are marginal when community transmission is low (eg, below 10 infections a day per 100,000 population). The proposed decision support tool can assist in developing rational preprocedural testing policies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)735-742.e3
    JournalGastrointestinal Endoscopy
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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