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Building Equity Improvement into Quality Improvement: Reducing Socioeconomic Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Screening as Part of Population Health Management

Improving colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates for patients from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds is a recognized public health priority. Our aim was to determine if implementation of a system-wide screening intervention could reduce disparities in the setting of improved overall screening rates. This was an interrupted time series (ITS) analysis before and after a population management intervention. Patients eligible for CRC screening (age 52-75 years without prior total colectomy) in an 18-practice research network from 15 June 2009 to 15 June 2012 participated in the study. The Technology for Optimizing Population Care (TopCare) intervention electronically identified patients overdue for screening and facilitated contact by letter or telephone scheduler, with or without physician involvement. Patients identified by algorithm as high risk for non-completion entered into intensive patient navigation. Patients were dichotomized as???high school diploma (? HS), an indicator of socioeconomic disadvantage, vs. >HS diploma (> HS). The monthly disparity between???HS and?>?HS with regard to CRC screening completion was examined. At baseline, 72% of 47,447 eligible patients had completed screening, compared with 75% of 51,442 eligible patients at the end of follow-up (p?HS patients in June 2009 (65.7% vs. 74.5%, p?

Authors: Berkowitz SA; Percac-Lima S; Ashburner JM; Chang Y; Zai AH; He W; Grant RW; Atlas SJ

J Gen Intern Med. 2015 Jul;30(7):942-9. Epub 2015-02-13.

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