Health care providers can help more of their patients get screened for cancer if they get reminders about when their patients are due for screenings. A study showed this practice increased screening and testing by more than 7%.
Provider reminders can be done in several ways—
- Manual reminders: Staff can use stickers or notations on the medical charts of patients who are due for a cancer screening.
- Electronic reminders: Some electronic health record systems can be set up to send screening alerts to providers.
How to Develop a Provider Reminder System
For detailed information, see the Provider Reminder Planning Guide.
- Get buy-in from providers and other staff by including them in the planning and set-up process.
- Create a process to ensure that—
- Records are flagged properly.
- Providers recommend appropriate screenings.
- Screening tests are ordered.
- Screening is completed or refused.
- Refusal or results are documented.
- Decide which records will be flagged by looking at—
Monitor your efforts—
- Develop a plan to evaluate your system regularly and make improvements as needed.
- Make sure providers receive the reminders.
- Make sure providers are making screening referrals or ordering tests.
- If you make changes, write them down and retrain staff as needed.
Each day, staff members give doctors a list of the patients who have an appointment that day and the preventive care services they need, including cancer screening tests.