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COMTREA Improves Colorectal Cancer Screenings by 23% with a Bit of Creative Genius

Colorectal cancer screening is not anyone’s idea of fun – provider or patient.  Colorectal cancer screening measure results are not easy to increase because it requires patients to do their part and it's a measure most Community Health Center’s (CHCs) struggle to improve.  COMTREA devised a contest to raise awareness for staff and patients – and to inject a bit of fun into the process.

COMTREA is located South of St. Louis and has two primary care locations, and the contest would create a friendly rivalry between the locations. Bragging rights were at stake along with a pizza party.

First up, the office was appropriately decorated. They purchased poop emoji pillows to place around the clinics. Posters were designed and hung.  They also bought many rolls of toilet paper to stack into trees.  No tree is complete without decorations, so the trees were decorated with ribbons.

Picture1 Emoji Pillows

Pins were designed for the providers to wear – his and hers of course.  The pin said, “Ask me about the FIT test!!”  As an enticement, all patients that completed a FIT (fecal immunochemical test) were entered into a drawing to win a $25 gas card.  At the end of the contest, all patients were sent a letter telling them if they won the card or not and congratulated them for improving their health.

The contest ran for one month.  Azara DRVS, the Reporting and Analytics platform of COMTREA and the FQHC’s of the Missouri Primary Care Association, was used to monitor the results.  The month period was used in the colorectal cancer screening measure.  Each week after the measure was re-calculated, the providers eagerly monitored their results.  They also validated that every FIT was being counted.

Colorectal Screening Promotion Colorectal Screening Promotion

At the end of the contest, most of the providers’ numbers had improved with the most improved provider checking in at a 23% gain.  The provider with the 2nd most patients in the month had a 10% gain.  The month after the contest, several providers’ numbers continue to grow.

The contest was such a success that COMTREA is in the midst of a rematch.   In the first week, their overall numbers have increased 2 percent.   COMTREA staff members are also planning additional contests to raise awareness for other measures – and to make it fun.