Quality assurance manual of endoscopic screening for gastric cancer in Japanese communities

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The Japanese government introduced endoscopic screening for gastric cancer in 2015 as a public policy based on the Japanese guidelines on gastric cancer screening. To provide appropriate endoscopic screening for gastric cancer in Japanese communities, we developed a quality assurance manual of endoscopic screening and recommend 10 strategies with their brief descriptions as follows: (i) Formulation of a committee responsible for implementing and managing endoscopic screening, and for deciding the suitable implementation methods in consideration of the local context; (ii) Development of an interpretation system that leads to a final judgement to standardize endoscopic examination and improve its accuracy; (iii) Preparation of management and reporting systems for adverse effects by the committee for safety management; (iv) Obtaining informed consent before operation following adequate explanations regarding the benefits and harms of endoscopic screening; (v) Avoidance of frequent screenings to reduce false-positive results and overdiagnosis. As a reference, the target age group is ≥50 years, and the screening interval is 2 years; (vi) Keeping the biopsy rate within 10% as post-biopsy bleeding may occur. Before endoscopic screening, any history of antithrombotic drug usage should be checked; (vii) Nonadministration of sedation in endoscopic screening for safety management; (viii) Adherence to proper endoscopic cleaning and disinfection to reduce infection; (ix) Use of a checklist to achieve optimal program preparation when municipal governments introduce endoscopic screening; (x) Identification of the aims and roles by referring to a checklist if primary care physicians decide to participate in endoscopic screening.

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