, Volume 29, Issue 1, p 177
Date: 03 Oct 2013

Capsule Commentary on Fortuna et al., Get Screened: A Randomized Trial of the Incremental Benefits of Reminders, Recall, and Outreach on Cancer Screening

This is an excerpt from the content

Fortuna et al.1 assess and compare the effectiveness of phone, mail, and personal reminders as methods to improve rates of breast and colorectal cancer screening in an underserved population. Compared to reminder letters alone, cancer screening rates were increased with the addition of reminders at the point of care or a personalized phone call. However, no benefit was shown with the addition of an automated phone call to a reminder letter, compared to the letter alone.

This study is well-written, well-designed, and shows promising findings. Unfortunately, this study might lack relevance for the practice environments of many, perhaps most, physicians currently practicing in the United States, in which electronic medical records (EMRs) are widely available and capable of ever-wider functionality. A survey done in 2011–2012 showed that greater than 40 % of physicians are currently using EMRs.2

Of course, the authors made extensive use of EMRs in their study in retrieving patient data and a

This comment refers to the article available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11606-013-2586-y.