HealthSeptember 04, 2018

From “nope” to scope: Improving patient compliance with colorectal cancer screening and evaluation

How health providers can reduce no-show rates and improve patient compliance with colorectal cancer screening and evaluation.

Colorectal cancer is the third most frequently diagnosed cancer in the United States. Fortunately, it can be treated and cured if caught early enough.

Colonoscopy is one of the few cancer detection regimens that can also be considered a form of prevention. During the procedure, doctors can remove any polyps they see that could grow into malignancies. That’s why increasing the rate of screenings for colon and rectal cancers is one of the American Cancer Society’s headline goals for 2018.

But patients sometimes think the procedure is going to be uncomfortable or difficult, so they don’t schedule one. Or, if one is scheduled, they don’t show up, or don’t follow the recommended preparations, or don’t bring someone to drive them home afterward.

These missed appointments are costly for the doctors, hospitals and ambulatory clinics that provide them. And a colonoscopy that doesn’t take place may leave undetected a polyp that is already turning into a cancerous tumor. Getting patients to overcome their fear and hesitation around the procedure, therefore, is a standing goal of physicians and the cancer-fighting community.

A recent study from the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine showed that patients who view an Emmi program on colonoscopy before their scheduled procedure are more likely to feel comfortable about it. The majority of patients in the randomized clinical trial reported that seeing the program reduced their anxiety. They also demonstrated greater knowledge about the procedure, required less sedation medication, and had a shorter procedure time. Most importantly, the Emmi viewers had better bowel preparation than the control group.

The Emmi program used interactive animation, empathic narration and easy-to-understand language to explain the importance of getting a colonoscopy. It also told patients what to expect before, during and after the procedure.

To read more about why colonoscopy is a critical prevention strategy and how Emmi can help your patients overcome their fears, download our white paper, "Getting Patients to the Scope."


Engage every patient in their journey

Easy-to-use interactive programs, featuring conversational language and relatable examples, help you foster connections and extend your team’s reach beyond healthcare settings.