An intervention to change the approach to colorectal cancer screening in primary care

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Purpose:The purpose of this project was to increase colorectal cancer screening (CRC) rates in the state of Nevada. Research has shown that there are several interventions for providers to use to increase CRC screening rates in practice. The Nevada Colon Cancer Partnership (NCCP) has created a toolkit to assist providers to implement these interventions in practice.Data Sources:Research has repeatedly shown that CRC screening has a great impact on the morbidity and mortality of CRC. Studies have shown that a fecal occult blood test can detect 60–85% of CRCs and a colonoscopy with polyp removal can reduce mortality by 60–90%. Multiple studies have shown that a provider's recommendation is the most consistently influential factor in cancer screening. Furthermore, offering patients a choice and encouraging active participation in health care decision making has proven to increase CRC screening rates.Conclusions:The NCCP has collaborated with the American Cancer Society to create a web based toolkit for use by providers to change practice and screen all eligible patients for CRC. The toolkit is designed to encourage providers to decrease the morbidity and mortality of CRC and other cancers. The toolkit is useful to facilitate efforts of office-based clinicians to reduce disparities by applying screening guidelines on a universal basis to the age-appropriate population. A team approach to screening is encouraged to promote an opportunistic or global approach to assure all eligible patients are reached.Implications for Practice:As healthcare reform continues to evolve, Nurse Practitioners (NPs) will assume much of the primary care needs of our country. A preventive care model is an important aspect of the future of healthcare. NPs are in a perfect position to change the health of patients in a global way. The strategies and tools presented in this toolkit are designed to improve preventive care and assist the NP in assuring that every eligible patient receives the screening tests they need.

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