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Reminder Program Dramatically Increases Mammography Rates, Kaiser Permanente Study Finds
Date:7/14/2009

re than 30 percent and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screenings every 1-2 years for women over age 40, current screening rates fall short of these guidelines.

The study is part of Kaiser Permanente's ongoing effort to encourage preventive health through diligent cancer screenings. Nationwide, Kaiser Permanente has an array of services designed to ensure screening for breast cancer, ranging from mobile screening vans, breast health fairs, to built-in prompts in its electronic health records system, KP HealthConnect(TM) - the world's largest civilian electronic health record.

Funded by the National Cancer Institute, this study involved employees using Kaiser Permanente's robust electronic health records database to identify women (aged 50-69) who hadn't had a mammogram for 20 months. Starting in January 2006, these women were sent a postcard telling them that they soon would be due for another mammogram. If they didn't make an appointment within a month, they received their first automated reminder call. A month later, they received a second automated call, and one month after that, if they still had not made an appointment, they received a call from a clerk in the radiology department. Within 10 months of their first reminder, more than 75 percent of these women had completed their mammograms - compared to only 63.4 percent before the program started. After the second year of the reminder program, 80.6 percent of women had completed their mammograms.

While previous trials have examined the effectiveness of mammogram reminder programs, few have addressed implementation and maintenance of these programs. This trial is noteworthy because of its size - most previous trials involved fewer than 1,000 women - and because it incorporated automated calls; most of the previous research had focused only on mail and live telephone counseling reminders.

The study was not
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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