It is hard to motivate lung screenings in your patient population. Most smokers already know they should quit. They know they are at risk for lung cancer and might need a screening. Therefore, you don’t want to offend them by being preachy. What you are really trying to do is to help them approach the issue in a comfortable way.
We think our Lung Cancer Risk Assessments can do that. As an added benefit, they also educate the public who may not even know what a lung screening is or why you might need one, or that many times it is covered by Medicare. Additionally, some people respond better to a computer delivering this kind of news. Some might even take the assessment multiple times before scheduling an appointment.
Many systems focus their lung screening promotions during November’s Great American Smoke Out. But why limit potentially life-saving messaging?
Our HRA Can Motivate Lung Screenings
Remember, our HRA identifies candidates for low-dose computer tomography screening. It does not directly calculate lung cancer risk. It is only helping users understand if they should schedule a lung screening based upon widely accepted guidelines. That is far easier to swallow than cancer risk. It also shifts much of the discussion of smoking cessation to an office visit. This is probably more effective than text on a screen.
For one thing, it evaluates not just smoking, but also a variety of factors. Some a person can control and others they can’t. These include family history, pulmonary fibrosis, radiation therapy to the chest, second-hand smoke exposure, asbestos, radon, dusts, inhaled chemicals or minerals, workplace exposures or air pollution. This means you can soften promotional messaging so that it does not appear you are singling out smokers or smoking, even though you probably are. After all, a 30 pack-year history and age of 55+ years are the most relevant risk factors.
Next, it takes a very objective approach to quantifying these personal data points, so it helps users understand their exact personal situation, not broad generalities. It makes it real for them.
While internal motivation is best, nothing stops your nurse navigators from reaching out to high risk users via a personal phone call. Some people are more motivated by a personal approach, rather than data.
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