How a New Orleans clinic raised its CRC screening rates from 3% to 80% in just 6 years

Two New Orleans-area health providers found great success raising their colorectal cancer screening rates, The Times-Picayune reports.

Here's how they did it:

1. New Orleans-based NOELA had a 3 percent CRC screening six years ago. Today, the clinic's rate is at 80 percent, according to CMO Keith Winfrey, MD. NOELA treats 3,800 patients annually and 42 percent of its patients are 45-years or older.

2. After learning of the clinic's low rate, Dr. Winfrey made screening a priority. The clinic hired a patient navigator and began working to educate its patient base on the importance of screening. The clinic also offered patients access to fecal immunochemical tests to keep costs down.

3. In December, the clinic hit the 80 percent mark. Dr. Winfrey said, "The most important lesson was taking this system-wide approach."

4. New Orleans-based Ochsner Health System is also making great strides in raising its rate. The health system touts a 75 percent screeningg rate, but Chief Population Health Officer Philip Oravetz, MD, expects it to reach 80 percent in early 2019.

5. Ochsner hands out FIT tests to patients meeting screening requirements, and the system identifies patients by using an EHR-based registries to identify eligible patients. Both efforts raised the screening rate 18 percent in two years.

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