The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends several interventions to increase screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers. They include actions designed to reach patients and those designed to reach health care providers.
Evidence suggests that combining two or more strategies increases community demand for and access to cancer screening and lowers costs. Strategies should be added to your clinic’s daily work process in ways that ensure they will last over time and work well for different cancer programs.
CDC can help health systems increase and improve the use of the following interventions and supporting activities—
Client (patient) reminders
- Offer to schedule cancer screenings for a patient during a clinic visit.
- Contact patients to schedule screenings.
- Send reminders about appointments and tests.
- Provide support to help patients overcome barriers and prepare for tests (like colonoscopies).
Reducing structural barriers
- Reduce paperwork.
- Help patients schedule appointments.
- Offer screening at more locations.
- Expand clinic and screening hours.
- Provide transportation.
- Provide translation services.
- Provide child care.
Other client-oriented interventions include the use of small media (like videos, brochures, or newsletters) and one-on-one or group education to motivate people to get screened. Health care systems can also give vouchers, reimburse costs, or reduce co-pays to remove economic barriers for patients.
- Put stickers or notations on the medical charts of patients or program electronic health records to send alerts to providers.
- Every day, print a list of patients who are due for cancer screening.
Provider assessment and feedback
- Track screening numbers for clinics and individual providers.
- Review clinic policies and practices.
- Tell providers how many of their patients get screened and receive follow-up care.