Analysis of factors associated with extended recovery time after colonoscopy

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Background & aims A common limiting factor in the throughput of gastrointestinal endoscopy units is the availability of space for patients to recover post-procedure. This study sought to identify predictors of abnormally long recovery time after colonoscopy performed with procedural sedation. In clinical research, this type of study would be performed using only one regression modeling approach. A goal of this study was to apply various “machine learning” techniques to see if better prediction could be achieved. Methods Procedural data for 31,442 colonoscopies performed on 29,905 adult patients at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2011 to 2015 were analyzed to identify potential predictors of long recovery times. These data included the identities of hospital personnel, and the initial statistical analysis focused on the impact of these personnel on recovery time via multivariate logistic regression. Secondary analyses included more information on patient vitals both to identify secondary predictors and to predict long recoveries using more complex techniques. Results In univariate analysis, the endoscopist, procedure room nurse, recovery room nurse, and surgical technician all showed a statistically significant relationship to long recovery times, with p-value below 0.0001 in all cases. In the multivariate logistic regression, the most significant predictor of a long recovery time was the identity of the recovery room nurse, with the endoscopist also showing a statistically significant relationship with a weaker effect. Complex techniques led to a negligible improvement over simple techniques in prediction of long recovery periods. Conclusion The hospital personnel involved in performing a colonoscopy show a strong association with the likelihood of a patient spending an abnormally long time recovering from the procedure, with the most pronounced effect for the nurse in the recovery room. The application of more advanced approaches to improve prediction in this clinical data set only yielded modest improvements.