Ten years ago, Gastroenterology Associates opened the first in-office endoscopy facility in the greater Hickory Metro area to enthusiastic reviews from patients. Today, the majority of the endoscopy procedures for the practice are performed in our award-winning facility.
Demand for in-office colon cancer exams has dramatically increased with the aging baby boomer population. Colonoscopies, the preferred colorectal cancer screening test, are the primary endoscopic procedures performed at the Gastroenterology Associates endoscopy unit.
“In 2005, we saw the need for an office-based facility since hospital same-day surgeries were overwhelmed with demand for colonoscopies. We developed our facility to provide a lower-cost option without compromising quality, safety or patient satisfaction,” explained Dr. John Meier.
“Office-based endoscopy procedures are far less expensive than the same procedures at hospitals,” said Dr. Meier. “Patients also like the privacy of our facility, and our caring staff creates a comfortable atmosphere for each and every patient.”
Shown (from left) are Terry Thomas, RN, CGRN, clinical manager of the endoscopy facility; two ten-year endoscopy unit staff members, Tonya Schiefelbein, RN, supervisor, and Cindy Hollar, CNA; and Dr. John Meier.
The 3,500 square foot endoscopy unit features three procedure rooms with high definition equipment. Six preparation rooms and six recovery rooms provide patients and their families a pleasant environment to meet with the physician before and after their exam.
The endoscopy facility has been recognized for outstanding quality measures by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), and is the only endoscopy facility in the Unifour area to receive the ASGE Certificate of Recognition. In addition, the endoscopy unit was one of the first four centers in North Carolina to be recognized by ASGE.
Accredited, as well, by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc., (AAAHC), the endoscopy facility at Gastroenterology Associates has met nationally-recognized standards for the provision of quality health care set by AAAHC. Accreditation distinguishes the endoscopy facility from other outpatient facilities by providing the highest quality of care to its patients as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation. The endoscopy facility is also licensed by Medicare and the State of North Carolina.