skip to page content
Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

What's the "secret sauce"? How implementation variation affects the success of colorectal cancer screening outreach.

Coury J, Miech EJ, Styer P, Petrik AF, Coates KE, Green BB, Baldwin LM, Shapiro JA, Coronado GD. What's the "secret sauce"? How implementation variation affects the success of colorectal cancer screening outreach. Implementation science communications. 2021 Jan 11; 2(1):5.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Mailed fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) programs can improve colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates, but health systems vary how they implement (i.e., adapt) these programs for their organizations. A health insurance plan implemented a mailed FIT program (named BeneFIT), and participating health systems could adapt the program. This multi-method study explored which program adaptations might have resulted in higher screening rates. METHODS: First, we conducted a descriptive analysis of CRC screening rates by key health system characteristics and program adaptations. Second, we generated an overall model by fitting a weighted regression line to our data. Third, we applied Configurational Comparative Methods (CCMs) to determine how combinations of conditions were linked to higher screening rates. The main outcome measure was CRC screening rates. RESULTS: Seventeen health systems took part in at least 1 year of BeneFIT. The overall screening completion rate was 20% (4-28%) in year 1 and 25% (12-35%) in year 2 of the program. Health systems that used two or more adaptations had higher screening rates, and no single adaptation clearly led to higher screening rates. In year 1, small systems, with just one clinic, that used phone reminders (n = 2) met the implementation success threshold ( = 19% screening rate) while systems with > 1 clinic were successful when offering a patient incentive (n = 4), scrubbing mailing lists (n = 4), or allowing mailed FIT returns with no other adaptations (n = 1). In year 2, larger systems with 2-4 clinics were successful with a phone reminder (n = 4) or a patient incentive (n = 3). Of the 10 systems that implemented BeneFIT in both years, seven improved their CRC screening rates in year 2. CONCLUSIONS: Health systems can choose among many adaptations and successfully implement a health plan''s mailed FIT program. Different combinations of adaptations led to success with health system size emerging as an important contextual factor.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.