Eastern Pennsylvania Endoscopy Center (EPEC)
Upper Endoscopy Procedures
Eastern Pennsylvania Endoscopy Center (EPEC) is a state of the art endoscopy center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. EPEC is designed to provide endoscopic examination and treatment of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract. We are dedicated to providing you with the highest standard of safety and comfort.
EPEC is proud to have Medicare certification and Accreditation by the Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc.
The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, founded in 1979, is the leader in ambulatory health care accreditation with more than 6,000 organizations accredited nationwide. AAAHC accredits a variety of organizations including, ambulatory surgery centers, office-based surgery centers, endoscopy centers, student health centers, military health care clinics, and large medical and dental practices. AAAHC serves as an advocate for the provision of high-quality health care through the development of nationally recognized standards and through its survey and accreditation programs. AAAHC accreditation is recognized as a symbol of quality by third-party payers, medical organizations, liability insurance companies, state and federal agencies and the public.
Pursuing accreditation shows our commitment to providing the highest levels of quality care to our patients, and the same high level of quality in our business practices. Achieving accreditation by AAAHC is proof that we have met the rigorous standards of a nationally-recognized third party.
“We believe our patients deserve the best,” states Patricia Lombardo, Administrator of Eastern Pennsylvania Gastroenterology, whose physicians staff the Center. “When you see our certificate of accreditation, you will know that AAAHC, an independent, not-for-profit organization, has closely examined our facility and procedures. It means we as an organization care enough about our patients to strive for the highest level of care possible.”
Accreditation distinguishes this Ambulatory Endoscopic Surgical Facility from many other outpatient facilities by providing the highest quality of care to its patients.
- When entering through the main entrance EPEC/the Center is to the right
- When entering through the main entrance EPGI/the practice/office is to the left
Our staff is especially attentive to your personal needs regarding privacy and convenience. They are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your procedure.
We have experienced and highly trained anesthesia professionals, nurses and technicians who will guide you through your procedure with care and compassion.
Despite the large number and variety of Gastrointestinal procedures performed nationally, documented instances of infectious complications remain very, very rare, 1 in 1.8 million procedures, according to the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). All endoscopes are cleaned with a special enzyme detergent following each procedure. All channels are brushed. All visible material is removed. This crucial step, pre-cleaning, can be likened to scrubbing food off plates before putting them into a dishwasher. The scopes are then put in a special washer and flushed again and soaked with a germ killing chemical recommended by SGNA (Society of Gastrointestinal Nurses and Associates), ASGE, APIC (Association for Professional Infection Control), and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), for the reprocessing of flexible GI endoscopes. This is also required by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
This process is called high level disinfection and all bacteria are killed during this process. Forced air is then used to dry the scope along with an alcohol flush. Accessories used are either disposable or sterilized following each procedure. These standards work well; transmission of infectious organisms during gastrointestinal endoscopy is an extremely rare event. When established cleaning and disinfection protocols are followed, transmission of infection will not occur.
Eastern Pennsylvania Endoscopy Center has personnel specifically dedicated to disinfecting the endoscopes and colonoscopes. These nurses and technicians are trained in the manner described above and monitored at regular intervals for competency. This high-level disinfection protocol, followed at Eastern Pennsylvania Endoscopy Center, meets or exceeds the recommended standard also followed at most hospitals and prevents the transmission of infection. The physicians and staff at Eastern Pennsylvania Endoscopy Center are very committed to patient safety and because of that, these current recommended standards are strictly followed.
Proper cleaning and high level disinfection have been proven safe and effective over many years in processing heat and moisture sensitive instruments. This proven process enables patients and healthcare workers to confidently focus on the goal of healing.
If you have any questions about infection risk, please feel free to ask the physician or staff.
Your endoscopy will be scheduled by your gastroenterologist’s office. Your scheduled arrival time will be thirty minutes prior to your procedure time. The nature and purpose of the procedure will be reviewed with you by your doctor in the office and specific instructions regarding preparations will be provided. Any questions regarding the schedule or preparations are to be directed to the EPGI office.
You will receive a phone call by EPEC nurses prior to your procedure in order to confirm your medical information.
When you arrive at the Center at your designated time, you will be greeted by our receptionist who will initiate the admission process. You will be escorted to the prep/recovery area and assigned a private room where you can change into a gown and an intravenous line will be started. Afterwards you will be transported to a procedure room. You will be given intravenous sedation during which time you are in a deep sleep-like state while your vital signs and oxygen levels are monitored. Depending on the type of the procedure and its complexity, you will be asleep for 15-30 minutes on average. Upon completion of the endoscopy, you will be transported back to your room. A member of your family or friend may sit with you at this time.
Out of courtesy to all our patients, one visitor, guardian or family member may accompany and remain with the patient in the pre/post procedure bay. No children are allowed in this area.
When fully recovered from your sedation you will be served a snack. Before discharge your physician will discuss the procedure findings with you and give instructions for appropriate follow-up.
Wear loose and comfortable clothing.
Wear as little jewelry as possible.
Leave valuable items at home.
Bring a driver.
Since you will be receiving sedative medication, you cannot safely drive a car or operate mechanical equipment. You must have a designated driver for your transportation. No exceptions. Without a driver, the procedure will be rescheduled.
Our practice, EPGI, offers open access colonoscopy screening through your primary care physician. This means you can schedule your procedure without an office visit at our practice. If you are interested in this, please ask your primary care physician if you would qualify.