Alternative Access Guide to Gut Screening Kits

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Thank you for helping to increase bowel cancer screening rates in Australia.

Many patients are more likely to complete the test when they discuss the process with a trusted healthcare provider. You play an important role in helping your patients make informed decisions about bowel cancer screening.

Bowel cancer and the importance of screening

Bowel cancer often develops without any signs. It usually starts as small growths called polyps, which can grow and become cancerous.

If caught early, more than 90% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated.

Read our clinical guidelines and resources.

Download the Alternate Kit Access Guide or follow the steps below.

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program aims to reduce bowel cancer deaths by detecting early signs of the disease. Eligible Australians take a simple, free at-home test.

People between the ages of 50 and 74 are eligible for screening and are encouraged to get screened every 2 years. There are alternative options for people outside the age range.

The program now operates 2 models to help increase screening uptake:

  1. mailing template – the kits are mailed to eligible people by the National Cancer Screening Registry
  2. alternative kit access model – health care providers give kits to eligible people, explain why the test is important and show how to do it.

Beginning October 31, 2022, providers can bulk order and distribute kits to eligible patients through the National Cancer Screening Registry’s HCP portal under the Alternate Kit Access Model.

Participating Community-Controlled Aboriginal Health Organizations (ACCHOs) should cancer.team [at] naccho.org.au (email the National Indigenous Community-Controlled Health Organization) (NACCHO) for culturally appropriate training.

A hot zone policy exists for the warmer regions of Australia, where participants receive the kit during the cooler months of the year. For participants in hot zones, practitioners can always give them a kit if they see a clinical benefit in it.

The National Cancer Screening Registry

The program is supported by the National Cancer Screening Registry (NCSR) and its Healthcare Provider Portal (HCP Portal), which invites, reminds and tracks screening participants. It also generates comprehensive data to inform public health policy and improve program quality and service delivery.

Learn more about the National Cancer Screening Registry.

Getting started in your practice

Before being able to :

  • bulk order kits
  • distribution kits
  • access and submit screening data.

Registration for HCP Portal Access

To register for the portal, you need a supplier digital access account (PRODA).

Once you have registered for a PRODA account, you can log into the HCP portal of the National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR).

See the NCSR Quick Start Guide and Overview Video for step-by-step instructions.

For help registering, you can also call the National Cancer Screening Registry on 1800 627 701, or fill out a form to request a call back at a time that suits you.

Integration of your clinic’s software with the NCSR

You can integrate your clinical software with the NCSR so you can distribute test kits to patients using a familiar platform.

If you integrate with your clinical software, you can see your patients’ screening status and if they are overdue, and upload program-related forms to attendee records.

You can integrate your clinic’s software using MedicalDirector, Communicare or Best Practice.

Intestinal screening kits cannot be ordered through clinical software. Place bulk orders for gut screening kits through the HCP portal.

Learn more about integrating your clinical software.

For help with onboarding, you can also call the National Cancer Screening Registry on 1800 627 701, or fill out a form to request a call back at a time that suits you.

Order kits

You can now distribute bowel cancer screening kits directly to eligible patients. To bulk order kits for your practice, you must:

  • login to the portal
  • click on the ‘iFOBT Bulk Orders’ button
  • click on the start your order button.

The ordering process should take no more than 2 minutes.

You can order kits in sets of 10. We recommend ordering no more than 30 at one time.

You can order more kits if you have a large base of eligible patients. Kits expire after 7 months, so please carefully calculate how many your practice will need.

If you wish to order more than 100 kits, call the National Cancer Screening Register on 1800 627 701. You will be asked to give a brief reason for the intended use. This will help us understand how you plan to use large kit orders.

Watch a short video showing this process in the HCP portal or read the instructions.

Issuance of kits and registration in the NCSR


alternative access to intestinal screening kits training

You spoke with your patient about the screening test and he decided to take the kit home.

Next, you need to log in to the HCP portal (or if accessing through your clinical software, open the NCSR hub when in a patient record) and:

  1. verify that the patient details are correct and make any necessary changes.
  2. print a copy of the Participant Details Form for the patient to include with their samples in the return envelope.

These steps ensure that samples can be tested and results sent to the correct address.

This process should take less than 2 minutes.

Watch a short video showing this process in the HCP portal or read the instructions.

Encourage patients to screen for bowel cancer

What you tell patients can encourage them to contemplate, intend, and take action to get the gut test.

Ask your patient if they have any concerns about taking the test at home?

Show them an open test kit and explain how to use it, and show them the overview video.

We have translated the test kit instructions into 22 languages.

You can order demo kits from us.

conversation starters

  • The intestinal screening test is free.
  • You may feel fit and healthy and have no symptoms, but you may still be at risk for bowel cancer.
  • The simple test to do at home and which could save your life.
  • If detected early, bowel cancer can be successfully treated in more than 90% of cases.
  • Beyond the age of 50, the risk of developing bowel cancer increases.
  • Do it to live a long healthy life.
  • Do it to stay healthy for family and friends.
  • Place the test near the toilet, where you will remember to do it.
  • The test is clean – this kit includes toilet liners and only the tip of the collection tube touches the poo.
  • If you don’t want to take one today, we could ask the registry to mail it to your home address.

Notifications, results and patient follow-up

Once your patient has received a kit or received a positive screening result, the registry will automatically set up follow-up alerts.

In the participant’s profile, you can see their selection status, next action, alerts, results, and correspondence sent to them.

To support patient tracking, navigate to the My Correspondence tab in the Portal or NCSR Hub in your clinical software.

If you see notifications that a positive result was not followed up, you should contact patients. If a result has not been received or is inconclusive, you should encourage your patient to return the completed test kit. This section also displays notifications indicating when the patient will receive a kit for their next screening cycle.

Read the instructions on registry notifications and patient tracking.

Receipt of test results

It can take up to 4 weeks for the patient and the health center to receive the test results. If you have not received results for a patient, check the National Cancer Screening Registry or call 1800 627 701.

Explain test results

You should explain the test results to your patient and inform them of the next steps.

Test result

Interpretation

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Negative

No blood was detected in the samples.

The patient and their designated health care provider will receive a copy of the results by mail. Reassure the patient about the significance of the result and advise them to be screened again in 2 years.

Positive

Blood was detected in one or both samples. This does not mean the patient has bowel cancer, but further investigation is needed to find out why the blood is there.

The patient and their designated health care provider will receive a copy of the results by mail. An alert will appear in the HCP portal against the patient’s record. An 8-week reminder letter will be sent to the patient and designated health care provider if a follow-up appointment has not taken place. A doctor will likely refer the patient for further diagnostic tests, such as a colonoscopy.

Inconclusive

The patient provided only one sample and it produced a negative result.

The patient and their designated health care provider will receive a copy of the result by mail. An alert will appear in the HCP portal against the patient’s record. Contact the patient to encourage them to repeat the test. Let them know that the registry will automatically deliver a replacement kit to them at the address listed in the registry. This could be the local health center.

No result

The sample could not be tested. This can happen when:

  • the sample had too much or too little poop provided
  • the collection tube has been damaged
  • the kit is completed or tested by the laboratory after the expiry date
  • samples have not been tested within 14 days of first collection.

Resources and contacts

Resources are available to help you and your office staff communicate with patients at all stages of the bowel screening process. You can also find resources to help you navigate the NCSR to bulk order kits and how to save a kit to a patient’s record.

Many resources are available to order for your practice, free of charge, including:

NCSR Guides

The NCSR has Alternate Access Model resources to show you how to bulk order and log patient kit issues in the National Cancer Screening Registry.

You can also browse the NCSR’s YouTube playlist for all the “how to” videos on using the registry.

contacts

Last update:

October 31, 2022

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