Fifteen practice teams from across Ohio joined the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP) virtual CRC Team Training to take part in a quality improvement (QI) project to increase colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates and learn the importance of effective and efficient teamwork, and its impact on patient care.
Participants gained a deeper understanding of the complexities of CRC and all of the updated guidelines and science behind the disease. They also learned the benefits of a team-based approach to care and gained understanding of the importance of setting an office protocol that supports practice improvement and makes an impact on population health in the practices’ communities.
This annual event is a culmination of 11 years of Academy programming that has an award winning, recognized track record for QI success. The 2020 project was outlined to mirror previous team training days; however, due to the nationwide pandemic and in-person meeting restrictions set forth by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, the OAFP pivoted from an in-person meeting to a virtual format in a matter of weeks. After retooling the popular in-person training program, the best components were compressed to fit an online learning environment where physicians completed the core requirements at a time and place of their choosing.
The “new” 2020 CRC Team Training provided an evidence-based curriculum that was designed to help primary care practices virtually streamline office protocols, build stronger team comradery, and help each team member better understand the importance that patient engagement has on individual and community health.
- A welcome kick-off Zoom call to review the outline of the program and expectations
- Utilization of a CRC screening module, presented by the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians (NJAFP), to enter chart data, select a pathway of intervention, and re-enter data after three months of protocol intervention
- Four pre-recorded CRC focused webinars on the state of the science, workflow and process mapping, improving outcomes, and interventions that work.
The pre-recorded webinars featured Durado Brooks, MD, MPH, vice president of Cancer Control Interventions at American Cancer Society (ACS); and John Seager, MD, FAAFP, a family physician from Hartville, Ohio. Both speakers expressed the importance of team engagement on the patient experience, the burden of colorectal cancer, and impact on stage diagnosis; helped teams tailor a customized office protocol; and discussed the benefits of setting up effective communication systems for practices.
Dr. Seager is an OAFP past president and has served as moderator for CRC screening improvement team training days for over six years. He shared a process mapping exercise for teams to determine best protocols and process steps for implementing change as it relates to CRC screenings in their practice.
Dr. Brooks provided teams insight into the latest guidelines, trends, and clinical updates in colorectal cancer; talked through tailoring an office protocol to fit the practice; and shared examples of successful interventions that have worked.
After the initial outline of the program and project expectations, teams started the three-month implementation phase where the participating practices put their new protocol into place and collected data to track their progress. Teams utilized the NJAFP’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Module, which is accredited by the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) for Family Medicine Certification Performance Improvement credit and by the American Academy of Family Physicians for 20 Performance Improvement in Practice credits.
- Akron General Family Medicine – Akron, OH
- AxessPointe Community Health Centers – Akron, OH
- Beavercreek Family Health Center – Oakwood, OH
- Family Practice Center of Salem – Salem, OH
- Johnson Associates – Perrysburg, OH
- KPN Ollie Davis Primary Care – Beavercreek, OH
- Metrohealth Family Medicine – Cleveland, OH
- New Carlisle Family Practice – New Carlisle, OH
- OSU Family Practice at Upper Arlington – Columbus, OH
- Primary Care Physicians of Stow, LLC – Hudson, OH
- Robert P Zaino MD, LLC – Gahanna, OH
- TLC – Mantua, OH
- University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center – Cleveland, OH
- University of Toledo Family Medicine – Toledo, OH
- Wright-Patterson Air Force Base – Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
Practices saw, on average, a 12% increase in CRC screening rates over the program timeline. Overall, the OAFP is thrilled to have helped family physicians increase CRC screening rates across the state. We are delighted these physicians and their teams were able to show an increase during a national pandemic. Considering all the variables the teams were faced with – a statewide lockdown, closed offices, patients hesitant to leave their homes, canceled procedures, and many more unexpected issues – we are so proud of their achievements.
Thank you to our program partners, the American Cancer Society North Central Region and the Ohio Department of Health Comprehensive Cancer Program. Without their support, the training day would not have been possible.