Care within a Veterans Hospital
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In 1998 the Veterans Administration mandated an externally monitored targeted colon cancer screening rate that was expected to result in earlier cancer detection and improved patient survival. The effectiveness of the protocol was evaluated in a retrospective case series at a tertiary care Veterans Administration Hospital that included all patients with the diagnosis of colon cancer between 1991 and 2003.
Tumor stage, tumor location, and patient survival data were recorded and compared to National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) benchmarks.
The study facility had a greater percentage of early cancers and fewer later stage cancers than the NCDB benchmark. Overall survival was better for the VA cohort compared to NCDB (all-cause 5-year survival: VA, 0.72; NCDB, 0.47. p ≤ .001).
The VA facility had a significantly greater percentage of early cancers and fewer stage III or IV cancers compared to a national benchmark and significantly improved survival compared to the national benchmark.
KeywordsColorectal cancer Colon cancer Screening Cancer staging Veterans Affairs Health Care System Performance measure
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