American Cancer Society has lowered the recommended screening age for colorectal cancer to age 45

A Systematic Approach to Colorectal Cancer Screening

Colorectal cancer


A Systematic Approach to Colorectal Cancer Screening

Colorectal cancer can be screened using a systematic approach. According to The Kaiser Permanente Medical Centre, Northern California, this is an effective way of improving colorectal cancer screening in a medical group or elsewhere.

Systematic screening is done by using a combined screening model of fecal immunochemical test (FIT) and colonoscopy made available through primary-care physician referral. It has been proven that a program that offers patients a fecal screening option is likely to have higher participation than a program that offers only colonoscopy. This systematic approach involves 4 components:

  1. Measuring colorectal cancer screening performance

    Colorectal cancer screening rates are measured through systematic review of electronic records, telephone or mailed survey of patients, or a review of sample paper charts. Such measurement is essential for evaluating the impact of any screening intervention.

    • It allows identification of patients who are up to date with colorectal cancer screening, and of those who are coming and are overdue for screening.
    • The documentation of screening is performed by outside providers.
  2. Reaching out to patients by sending a screening invitation to their homes
  3. Through mail, phone or secure electronic communication, patients are contacted outside of a regular office visit. This allows the screening message to be delivered to patients’ homes, and saves them from travelling to the office to pick up the test or miss work time to complete their screening.

  4. Providing support staff to help physicians deliver the screening message
  5. Successful systematic screening programs use office support staff to remind patients about the need for colorectal cancer screening. The support staff gives the FIT kits to overdue patients and document outside screening that has occurred. This allows the primary-care physician to spend time with patients discussing their concerns, rather than redirecting the conversation to the need for colorectal cancer screening. It also helps ensure that the screening invitation is made.

  6. A systematic reminder system to prompt physicians and support staff to encourage patients due for colorectal screening
  7. Systematic reminders can be accomplished with stickers placed on paper charts or prompts in electronic medical records. This helps ensure that everyone caring for the patient at the time of a visit can reinforce the message delivered by mailed outreach. Some patients’ needs will be met by mailed outreach alone. Many reluctant patients need to hear about the importance of colorectal cancer screening to their health from a physician they trust, or from the office staff of that physician.

Polymedco CDP, LLC Polymedco CDP, LLC is the leading manufacturer and distributor of clinical laboratory supplies. We have served medical professionals by providing patients comprehensive health care services, since 1980. For a colorectal cancer screening test, call 888-638-7757 or email at

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