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Activity description

125603 - Bowel Cancer Screening- Plan, Do, Study, Act

Cancer Council Western Australia

As part of the GP Education Project, Cancer Council WA has developed this PDSA activity to support GPs in identifying and encouraging eligible patients to participate in bowel cancer screening through the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP). The goal of the activity is to improve participation in the NBCSP of eligible patients in your practice by engaging with patients, increasing awareness of the NBCSP and encouraging informed participation. Patients who are identified as eligible will be contacted by the GP/practice and encouraged to complete the home test kit or to discuss further with practice staff. An improvement will be observed if GP/practice staff starts engaging eligible patients in the NBCSP who had no previous FOBT results in practice records.

Relevance to General Practice

The NBCSP is a population based screening program that aims to prevent bowel cancer by detecting bowel changes early before bowel cancer has developed or finding cancer early before symptoms arise. Regular bowel cancer screening using FOBT has been shown to reduce mortality by 15-33%. However, of the 2.6 million people invited to the NBCSP between January 2014 and December 2015, only 39% participated in the program.

GPs play a critical role in educating eligible patients on the benefits of participating in routine bowel cancer screening. GPs endorsement of, and recommendation to participate in NBCSP is proven to have a strong influence on patients’ decisions to participate. Implementation of strategies in general practice, such as GP endorsement; reminder communications or prompts, auditing of eligible patients for screening; practice endorsement through display of brochures; and opportunistic conversations with eligible patients can contribute to the success of the program.

Learning outcomes

  1. Analyse the practice’s current reminder procedures/systems for bowel cancer screening engagement of eligible patients.
  2. Identify patients who are eligible for bowel cancer screening with the NBCSP.
  3. Develop and implement a reminder system targeting patients that are eligible for bowel cancer screening.
  4. Evaluate the effectiveness of the reminder system developed as part of this activity.
  5. Promote and contribute to the delivery of the NBCSP.

Domains of General Practice

D1. Communication skills and the patient-doctor relationship
  • Ways in which health can be optimised and maintained are communicated to patients, family members and carers

D2. Applied professional knowledge and skills
  • Appropriate mode of care delivery to suit the needs of the patient

D3. Population health and the context of general practice
  • The patterns and prevalence of disease are incorporated into screening and management practices

D4. Professional and ethical role
  • Professional knowledge and skills are reviewed and developed

D5. Organisational and legal dimensions

Curriculum Contextual Units

  • Aboriginal and Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander health
  • Rural health
  • Adult health
  • General practice teaching
  • Other
QI activity

Session summary


Monday 26 Mar 2018 12:00am - Tuesday 31 Dec 2019 12:00am

This activity is readily available at any time



Face to face




By invitation only

Target Audience

GPs and practice team

For more information contact...

Sandra Stevenson
T: 0893884379