Sigmoidoscopy in a nurse-practitioner community clinic using telemedicine

J Telemed Telecare. 1999;5 Suppl 1:S68-9. doi: 10.1258/1357633991932612.


We evaluated the feasibility of remote endoscopy in a community setting. Realtime teleconsultation and telesigmoidoscopy were carried out by a nurse practitioner at a community clinic while a colorectal specialist was present at the main hospital. Rigid video-sigmoidoscopes were used and the images were transmitted via ISDN lines at 384 kbit/s. Over three months, 32 patients (mean age 35 years; 19 men and 13 women) with bleeding per rectum took part in the study. Evaluation was carried out using satisfaction questionnaires for the patients, the nurse practitioner and the clinicians. The mean grade for clarity of intraluminal views was 3.5 (1 poor, 4 excellent). Only two cases had views graded less than 3, due to the presence of excessive faecal residue. All the patients were satisfied with the teleconsultation and video-endoscopy and would return for a similar visit. User satisfaction was also high on the part of the nurse practitioner and the clinician.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Community Health Centers*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nurse Practitioners*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Rectal Diseases / pathology
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Telemetry / methods*
  • Telepathology / methods*