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Reducing Rejected Fecal Immunochemical Tests Received in the Laboratory for Colorectal Cancer Screening.

Cheng C, Ganz DA, Chang ET, Huynh A, De Peralta S. Reducing Rejected Fecal Immunochemical Tests Received in the Laboratory for Colorectal Cancer Screening. Journal for healthcare quality : official publication of the National Association for Healthcare Quality. 2019 Mar 1; 41(2):75-82.

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BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening decreases CRC incidence; however, many patients are not successfully screened. PURPOSE: To improve screening rates at our institution by decreasing the rate of rejected fecal immunochemical tests (FITs), a means of CRC screening, from 28.6% to < 10% by December 2017. METHODS: Specimens were rejected for the following reasons: expired specimen, lack of recorded collection date/time, lack of physician orders, incomplete patient information, and illegible handwriting. Multidisciplinary teams devised the following interventions: FIT envelope reminder stickers, automated FIT patient reminder phone calls, a laboratory standard operating procedure, an accessioning process at satellite laboratories, revisions to a clinical reminder when offering FIT, and provision of FIT-compatible printers to clinics. RESULTS: Total specimens received each month ranged from 647 to 970. Fecal immunochemical test rejection rates fell from 28.6% in June 2017 to 6.9% in December 2017 with a statistically significant decrease (p-value = .015) between the intervention period (May 2017-October 2017) and the postintervention period (November 2017-May 2018). CONCLUSIONS: Targeted interventions with stakeholder involvement are essential in reducing the rejection rate. IMPLICATIONS: The decreased rejection rate saves resources by decreasing the need to rescreen patients whose specimens were rejected, and may improve CRC screening rates.

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