Cancer Council Australia recognises the key role that GPs and other primary health professionals play in the success of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP). You are integral to the success of this campaign and the NBCSP. Evidence shows that a recommendation by a primary health care provider is a key motivator for participants to screen.
Currently only 43.5% of eligible Australians complete the NBCSP home screening test (FOBT). The resources below will assist you to:
- endorse the program in your practice
- encourage patients to participate in the program
- review your practice data to identify patients who are not up-to-date with their bowel cancer screening.
How you can help increase participation
1. Inform your patients
A trusted health professional such as a GP endorsing the NBCSP and encouraging their patient to participate has been shown to be an important factor in eligible people participating in bowel screening for the first time.
Use simple resources to speak to your patients aged 50-74 about bowel cancer screening every time they visit your practice:
- Check your patient’s eligibility for a NBCSP kit
- Email the NBCSP to order a sample kit to demonstrate use to your patients
- Show your patients the demonstration video
- Download and display the Cancer Council bowel screening poster
- Patient handouts
2. Accessing your patients screening information electronically
The National Cancer Screening Register has introduced an online Healthcare Provider Portal and integration with clinical software, MedicalDirector and Best Practice, providing new ways to interact with the Register.
The Healthcare Provider Portal and integration with clinical software allows healthcare providers to complete a range of activities, including:
- Accessing your patient’s bowel screening results and histories online, in real-time, at a time convenient for you, your practice and your staff
- Submitting forms electronically pre-filled with healthcare provider information removing the need to print/scan and fax
- Managing your patient’s participation including deferring their next screening, or opt out on behalf of your patient, provided the patient’s consent is granted
- Ordering a free bowel screening kit directly to your patients’ address
In order to access the Healthcare Provider Portal you’ll need to create a PRODA (or Provider Digital Access) to enable secure access. The process of setting up a PRODA login is quick and simple and the NCSR website has handy walk-throughs to help you throughout.
Practices using MedicalDirector Clinical 4.0 and Best Practice Saffron can now integrate with the Register to access and submit clinical data for the NBCSP seamlessly from within their patient record. You can find more information on integrating your clinical software with the Register here.
3. Support your patients and staff
Support patients to do the test
Identify eligible patients aged between 50 and 74 years and encourage their participation in the NBCSP by sending endorsement and / or reminder letters or SMS messages when they are due to receive a screening kit:
Support your staff to learn more about bowel cancer screening
- Provide opportunities for all practice staff to increase knowledge on the eligibility criteria and processes of the NBCSP National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Module for GPs
- National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Module for Practice Nurses
- NBCSP Guide for Nurses working in general practice
- I-PACED Colorectal Card
- Access the ‘Increasing Bowel Cancer Screening in General Practice’ Online Learning Module here – it’s free, it only takes about 20 minutes and it is a great way to ensure you and the staff at your clinic are up to date with the latest strategies to promote bowel cancer screening with your patients.
4. Change your practice systems
Change systems or procedures within your practice to embed a culture of screening participation:
- Identifying under-screened or unscreened patients
- Add prompts in GP record to flag under-screened patients
- Send patient reminders
- SMS reminders
- Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle to measure the effects of changes to your practice systems (RACGP accredited)
- National Bowel Cancer Screening Program – the role of health professionals and providers
- The National Health and Medical Research Council approved Clinical Guidelines for the prevention, early detection and management of colorectal cancer (2017)
- The National Health and Medical Research Council approved Clinical Practice Guidelines for Surveillance Colonoscopy (2019)