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

An observational study of workflows to support fecal testing for colorectal cancer screening in primary care practices serving Medicaid enrollees.

Mojica CM, Gunn R, Pham R, Miech EJ, Romer A, Renfro S, Clark KD, Davis MM. An observational study of workflows to support fecal testing for colorectal cancer screening in primary care practices serving Medicaid enrollees. BMC cancer. 2022 Jan 25; 22(1):106.

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: Screening supports early detection and treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC). Provision of fecal immunochemical tests/fecal occult blood tests (FIT/FOBT) in primary care can increase CRC screening, particularly in populations experiencing health disparities. This study was conducted to describe clinical workflows for FIT/FOBT in Oregon primary care practices and to identify specific workflow processes that might be associated (alone or in combination) with higher (versus lower) CRC screening rates. METHODS: Primary care practices were rank ordered by CRC screening rates in Oregon Medicaid enrollees who turned age 50 years from January 2013 to June 2014 (i.e., newly age-eligible). Practices were recruited via purposive sampling based on organizational characteristics and CRC screening rates. Data collected were from surveys, observation visits, and informal interviews, and used to create practice-level CRC screening workflow reports. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, qualitative data analysis using an immersion-crystallization process, and a matrix analysis approach. RESULTS: All participating primary care practices (N = 9) used visit-based workflows, and four higher performing and two lower performing used population outreach workflows to deliver FIT/FOBTs. However, higher performing practices (n = 5) had more established workflows and staff to support activities. Visit-based strategies in higher performing practices included having dedicated staff identify patients due for CRC screening and training medical assistants to review FIT/FOBT instructions with patients. Population outreach strategies included having clinic staff generate lists and check them for accuracy prior to direct mailing of kits to patients. For both workflow types, higher performing clinics routinely utilized systems for patient reminders and follow-up after FIT/FOBT distribution. CONCLUSIONS: Primary care practices with higher CRC screening rates among newly age-eligible Medicaid enrollees had more established visit-based and population outreach workflows to support identifying patients due for screening, FIT/FOBT distribution, reminders, and follow up. Key to practices with higher CRC screening was having medical assistants discuss and review FIT/FOBT screening and instructions with patients. Findings present important workflow processes for primary care practices and may facilitate the implementation of evidence-based interventions into real-world, clinical settings.

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.