In Healthcare IT News: The national average colorectal screening rate is 39 percent but at long-time Forward Health Group client, Albany Area Primary Health Care, it’s 60 percent.
Georgia’s Albany Area Primary Health Care is working on population health, focusing on what the provider organization believes to be high priority conditions that will add value to the practice, to patients and to payers.
The healthcare organization has a major effort underway in colorectal cancer screening, trying to significantly increase its screening rates. It is doing a breast and cervical program at the CDC, applying it to uninsured women, many of whom would never have a mammogram. And it’s doing another program to try to increase its pneumococcal vaccination rates, doing this in affiliation with the American College of Physicians and the CDC. Those organizations have a program that Albany Area Primary Health Care is sustaining for hypertension control.
The colorectal program is a major focus, and technology has played a big part in its success, said James Hotz, MD, clinical service director at AAPHC. He said its technology allows a user to analyze what the electronic health record shows is done and what’s not done: The user can easily click by site or by a clinician, and the system presents a green bar (meaning done) or a red bar (meaning not done).
“So we would click on the red bar for people coming in that week, and our population managers would post it as ordering FIT (fecal immunochemical test) or colon cancer screening as something to be done,” Hotz explained. “They would then do a focused outreach to people who may not be coming in anytime soon. What we found is 20 percent of the people that needed to be screened didn’t even have a return appointment.”
February 22, 2018