Health Care Facility-based Settings

In health care facilities, health care providers give advice and support to individuals deciding whether or not to screen for colorectal cancer. These interventions can happen in public or private health care settings, such as a doctor’s office, hospital, health department or assisted living facility. Providers may receive training as well as reminders to discuss colorectal cancer and screening options with their patients or clients. Other interventions in health care facility-based settings can create environment and policy changes. For example, these policies can require providers to receive training on colorectal cancer screening schedules for their patients. For more information about settings for healthy lifestyle behaviors, see Nutrition, Physical Activity and Tobacco.

Health care facility-based interventions work best when used with interventions in other settings:

  • Community-based settings: health care providers can advocate for policies related to colorectal cancer and validate community messages
  • Worksite-based settings: Worksites and health care facilities can work together to create free or low-cost screening opportunities for employees in local health care settings
  • Faith-based settings: health care providers can work with faith-based networks to increase community outreach and access to information about colorectal cancer and screening options
  • Home-based settings: health care providers can provide home-based colorectal cancer education programs and some screenings for at-risk populations

Things to consider for health care facility-based interventions:

  • Health care facilities can hang posters and signs to remind patients to talk to their provider about colorectal cancer, or health care providers can have reminders in their patient or client charts to help them remember to discuss colorectal cancer and screening.
  • Health care waiting rooms might be an optimal site for informing patients about colorectal cancer and screening.
  • Some colorectal cancer screening promotions can be incorporated into other preventive health promotions, such as annual flu vaccination drives, blood drives or health fairs.
  • Health care facility staff can easily become overwhelmed with their patient load. An intervention involving health care staff should keep in mind their daily work load.
  • There are many different types of health care facilities that reach a variety of individuals. For example, individuals may go to hospitals, community clinics, emergency rooms or residential care facilities.
  • For the most part, patients and clients are likely to trust the information that they receive from their health care provider. However, some populations have a history of mistrust of health care providers. In this case, health care providers can make a special effort to talk to the patient or client and make them feel comfortable or may use health care advocates.
  • Health care providers have limited time to converse with their patients or clients. They also have many different health care topics to talk about in this time. This means the advice related to colorectal cancer and screening should be short and simple.
  • There are many types of reminders to talk about colorectal cancer with patients, such as posters, signs, medical charts, e-mails or phone reminders or age appropriate checklists.
  • It is important to work with managers at health care facilities to help them create colorectal cancer awareness programs that meet their needs and match their capabilities and organizational structures.
  • Communication and coordination by previous or multiple health care providers can be challenging. Past health care screening dates and results are important information that impacts appropriate health care decisions making in the present. Tracking information over a period of ten or more years can be necessary.
  • It is important to educate health care providers about common concerns for elders and individuals of other cultures regarding colorectal cancer screening and appropriate screening intervals.  Some cultures may require a different approach to match their customs.
  • Computer-generated telephone reminder systems can increase kept appointment rates and conserve resources. However, the choice of phone or postcard notification should be based on available staff, budget, volunteer help and other considerations.
  • Medical schools serve as an important avenue for provider education programs since medical students are receptive to instruction and their clinical habits are under formation.
  • Because organizations in health care facility-based settings assess and store information on individuals, they are well-suited for individual education interventions because individual information is already collected and communication systems for these individuals are already in place. These settings make it easier to distribute individually tailored information to participants. Age appropriate screening checklists can also be utilized.
  • Interventions should be modified to address the various levels of technology in health care facilities. For example, one clinic may not have electronic record technology or have limited technology for procedures.

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