Evidence-Based Interventions

How You Can Increase Cancer Screening

Too Great a Cost

Dr. Lisa Richardson, Director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, highlights evidence-based strategies that can help you screen more people and save money for your health system in this video.

Evidence-based interventions are strategies that are proven to work. For cancer screening, these interventions improve the quality of cancer screening and increase the number of people screened.

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends several interventionsexternal icon 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.

ScreenOutCancer can help health systems increase and improve the use of the following interventions and supporting activities:

Client-Oriented Interventions

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.

Provider-Oriented Interventions

Provider reminders

  • 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.
Fact Sheet

Public health agencies offer proven strategies for improving the quality and rate of cancer screening. Working with health systems and other partners to implement evidence-based interventions can significantly reduce health care costs and increase lives saved. Download our fact sheet to learn more.

No Time for Guesswork pdf icon[PDF-171KB]

Page last reviewed: November 10, 2021