The use of colonoscopy in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening has increased substantially in recent years. Media messages and changes in insurance reimbursement, as well as new screening guidelines from the American Cancer Society and the US Preventive Services Task Force, have contributed to this increase. Primary care providers (PCPs) are frequently responsible for making the recommendation and referral for screening. The process of successfully referring a patient for screening colonoscopy can be cumbersome and requires a coordinated effort between the PCP and the endoscopist. In recognition of the potential complexity of this process, the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable has issued a report to describe the components of a quality screening colonoscopy referral system in primary care practice. The elements of a quality program include an optimal scheduling and referral system, the appropriate patient preparation information, consistent reporting and follow-up systems, and a detailed approach to dealing with special situations.
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