Current Position Information
Family Practice Physician, Austin Regional Clinic, Austin, Texas
Scholarly Research Project
Title: Increasing Colorectal Cancer Screening Completion Rate at the Shadyside Family Health Center
Authors: Adeline Yu, MD, Barry Coutinho, MBBS
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Screening for colorectal cancer in asymptomatic adults ages 50-75 reduces colorectal cancer mortality and is a United States Preventive Services Task Force Grade A recommendation. The Shadyside Family Health Center’s (SFHC) colorectal cancer screening rate is currently 49%, which is below the national average and the Healthy 2030 goal of 74.4%. Offering noninvasive stool-based tests such as fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) may increase patient uptake. Our objective is to increase FIT test kit use and increase overall SFHC colorectal cancer screening completion rates.
Electronic health records of 300 patients aged 50-70 with average risk for colorectal cancer were reviewed over a 3-month period. Patients were also offered FIT test kits and colonoscopy during office visits. Epic data was used to compare completion rates for both FIT test and colonoscopy between 2021-2022 pre-intervention and post-intervention.
From a patient list generated aged 50-70 at average risk for colorectal cancer, clinical staff completed targeted outreach to 247 patients via phone call and electronic messaging over a 6-month period. Targeted patient outreach showed 8 out of 68 patients completed the FIT test, with a completion rate of 11.7 % versus 11 out of 179 patients completed colonoscopy, with a completion rate of 6.1%. The overall SFHC FIT test kit completion rate pre-intervention was 79% (79 completed tests out of 100) versus post-intervention was 50.6 % (46 completed tests out of 81). The overall SFHC colonoscopy completion rate pre-intervention was 28.9% (71 tests completed out of 245) versus post-intervention was 24.2% (54 completed tests out of 223). There was no significant increase in completion rate of both FIT test and colonoscopy after the intervention.
Based on the results, patients appear to utilize more FIT test compared to colonoscopy. Offering more FIT test at the SFHC is promising which can potentially increase colorectal cancer screening rates.