Use of Evidence-Based Interventions and Implementation Strategies to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening in Federally Qualified Health Centers
While colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates have been increasing in the general population, rates are considerably lower in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which serve a large proportion of uninsured and medically vulnerable patients. Efforts to screen eligible patients must be accelerated if we are to reach the national screening goal of 80% by 2018 and beyond. To inform this work, we conducted a survey of key informants at FQHCs in eight states to determine which evidence-based interventions (EBIs) to promote CRC screening are currently being used, and which implementation strategies are being employed to ensure that the interventions are executed as intended. One hundred and forty-eight FQHCs were invited to participate in the study, and 56 completed surveys were received for a response rate of 38%. Results demonstrated that provider reminder and recall systems were the most commonly used EBIs (44.6%) while the most commonly used implementation strategy was the identification of barriers (84.0%). The mean number of EBIs that were fully implemented at the centers was 2.4 (range 0–7) out of seven. Almost one-quarter of respondents indicated that their FQHCs were not using any EBIs to increase CRC screening. Full implementation of EBIs was correlated with higher CRC screening rates. These findings identify gaps as well as the preferences and needs of FQHCs in selecting and implementing EBIs for CRC screening.