Facilitators and Barriers of a Health Department-based Mailed Fecal Testing Program

N C Med J. Sep-Oct 2020;81(5):293-299. doi: 10.18043/ncm.81.5.293.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Mailed at-home stool testing offers a promising strategy for overcoming barriers to colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in vulnerable populations. This paper evaluates the facilitators and barriers of successful implementation of a mailed fecal testing program among Medicaid populations within a health department setting.METHOD Interviews were conducted with key informants involved in intervention start-up and implementation tasks. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) was used to design the interview guide and structure the analysis. Axial coding was used to connect the themes to each other under the major categories of facilitators and barriers.RESULTS Overall, the process evaluation suggests that with strong partnerships, effective champions, and existing infrastructure, a large county health department can successfully implement a mailed fecal testing program targeted at Medicaid beneficiaries. The identified facilitators and challenges to implementation provide important information for similar emerging programs.LIMITATIONS The sample size of this evaluation is small. Additionally, we are unable to discern whether participating stakeholders' responses represent the feelings of non-interviewed staff, program implementers, or participants. We were not able to collect data on patient perspectives of the intervention. The nursing staff and interns were not able to be included in the process evaluation. Lastly, the information taken from this process evaluation may not be applicable to organizations and systems with different attributes.CONCLUSION The process evaluation suggests strong partnerships, effective champions, and elegant program designs were key contributors to successful implementation of a CRC screening program targeted at Medicaid beneficiaries in a large county health department.