Colorectal cancers are the second-largest cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. To ensure this common cancer is identified and treated, Sanford Health implemented real-time reminders in Epic to assist care teams in ordering screenings for their overdue patients during the current visit. Reminders for providers and patients helped Sanford Health increase the number of colorectal cancer screenings by nearly 13% over two years.
By offering patients the option of picking their preferred screening method, such as a colonoscopy or a sample collection kit to take home, providers at Sanford help patients feel more comfortable receiving preventive care. Sanford providers also follow up with at-risk patients using their preferred communication method, such as phone calls or MyChart messages.
For this effort to increase screening rates, undertaken as part of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable’s 80% by 2018 Initiative, Sanford was an honoree in the NCCRT’s 2018 National Achievement Awards. As of 2019, Sanford Health has seen 26 of its clinics meet the initiative’s 80% screening benchmark.