Kaiser takes blood stool test kit campaign to YouTube

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Dr. T.R. Levin, a gastroenterologist at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Walnut, Creek, California, has a YouTube video on Kaiser’s widespread use of blood stool test kits for colon cancer screening. Click here to see the video.

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Marilyn Mann

March 20, 2010 at 7:21 am

I think they could have done a better job of stating the benefits and risks.


March 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm

One reason that Kaiser Permanente can use the FIT test to screen for colorectal cancer is that they have an electronic medical record that follows patients to make sure they get tested every year.
FIT needs to be repeated annually while screening colonoscopy can be done every ten years.
They also can make sure that positive tests are followed up with colonoscopy — a point that Dr.Levin does not make. In fact, by crossing out the dreaded colonoscopy, he is not being totally honest with patients.

T. R. Levin

March 23, 2010 at 11:48 am

First of all, a big thank you to Gary for helping to get the word out about our video. It was made primarily for Kaiser Permanente Members to help open the conversation with their primary care provider and get them interested in the prospect of screening. There is a natural spillover that occurs when using YouTube, that we hope will lead to a broader conversation with people who are not KP members.
The video has two goals: encourage people to get screened for colorectal cancer and to change the conversation so that annual FIT can be seen on the same footing as every 10 year colonoscopy (as they are in the US Preventive Services Task Force CRC guideline). The current US approach to CRC screening is based primarily on colonoscopy. This has limitations: it has a relatively high risk of complications compared to other screening tests, is inconvenient for people to do, and it isn’t available everywhere across the country. Our colonoscopy based strategy in the US has gotten us to a national CRC screening rate of only 55%. To get to higher levels of CRC screening, we need options that people are willing to do, and that they can access regardless of where they live.
The video is only one part of our screening approach. As Kate Murphy explains, we have several advantages at KP to help make FIT feasiible and reliable. We exploit those with our screening program and the video. We rely on our systems to find people who are positive and our physicians to inform people who need a colonoscopy about what is involved and why it is needed. We deliberately made the video short to keep it interesting. The printed materials that accompany the kit inform people about what to expect if their test is negative (annual screening) or positive (colonoscopy).
Most adults in the US have heard only one message about CRC screening: colonoscopy. We use this video to get the message out that FIT is a good alternative. It’s easy to do, and lots of people are already doing it (3,000 every day). If you’ve been on the fence about CRC screening because you don’t want a colonoscopy, we have a good alternative.