Educating Healthcare Professionals to Increase Bowel Cancer Screening in Regional and Remote Australia

GPEx partnered with the Jodi Lee Foundation in 2022 and 2023 to ensure healthcare professionals have the skills and knowledge to encourage and support their patients to participate in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. More than 1,100 healthcare professionals engaged with the webinars and online resources over two campaigns, and 83% now feel confident about discussing screening with their patients (up from just 25%)

Overview

The (JLF) is a leading voice for bowel cancer prevention, reaching millions of Australians each year through national initiatives aimed at raising awareness about bowel cancer.

The disease has a treatment success rate of over 90%; however, the average national screening rate—at 40.9%— remains sub-optimal and is even lower in rural communities. Increasing participation to 60% would save more than 80,000 lives by 2040. 

In 2022 and 2023 the JLF engaged GPEx to develop and deliver webinars and an online learning hub of resources aimed at upskilling healthcare professionals to more confidently play their critical role in encouraging and supporting patients to engage with the national screening program. 

The GPEx Solution

GPEx developed content and delivered a blended learning solution comprising: 

  • More than 30 webinars 
  • An online ‘Bowel Screening Learning Hub’ containing succinct yet engaging educational videos for time-poor professionals, along with links to essential resources. 

The education resources addressed the following learning outcomes: 

  • Understand the roles of the GP and Practice Nurse in supporting bowel cancer screening 
  • Patient eligibility and relevant clinical information 
  • How to complete the bowel cancer screening home test 
  • Understand test results 
  • Where to find further tools and resources. 

GPEx’s experience and expertise in how healthcare professionals learn made it easy for the Jodi Lee Foundation to leverage this market to raise bowel cancer screening rates. The end-to-end learning solution included:

  • Creation of clinical content by experienced in-house Medical Educators 
  • Delivery of the webinars by engaging expert presenters 
  • High-quality video production and editing 
  • User-friendly interface and secure hosting for the online hub 
  • End-to-end project management 
  • Multi-channel marketing via email, social media, face-to-face events, telemarketing, healthcare associations including Primary Health Networks and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations. 
  • Reporting against pre-established Key Performance Indicators 

Impact

More than 1,100 healthcare professionals engaged with the learning activities over two campaign periods. Post-engagement surveying demonstrated that the learning dramatically raised their’ confidence in discussing bowel cancer screening with patients from 25% to 83%. Additionally, healthcare professionals said they were now much more likely to proactively discuss screening with their patients (from 51% to 68%). 

Perhaps most significantly, 73% of healthcare professionals who participated in the learning now agree that they could make a big difference to whether individuals aged 45-49 complete their first bowel cancer screening test. 

  • 1,100+ healthcare professionals trained over two campaigns. 
  • 83% are confident to discuss bowel cancer screening with patients (up from 25%). 
  • 73% agree they could make a big difference to screening participation rates. 

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