Essentia Health colon cancer screening saving lives

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Essentia Health patients will live an additional 18,525 years thanks to the organization’s efforts to increase the number of patients being screened for colon cancer. Over the past two years, the health system has increased the percentage of patients screened by 8 percent.

“We recognized we had an opportunity for improvement,” says Cindy Ferrara, Essentia system quality manager. “Now we have programs to track who is due for a screening, and if one has been scheduled.”

Last year, 97,517 Essentia Health patients were eligible to be screened for colon cancer. Of those, 69,429, or 71 percent, were screened. “We’re beating the national average on getting people in and getting them tested by 13 percent,” says Ferrara. “And that’s important, since 9 out of 10 colon cancer patients can be saved, if we can catch it early.”

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