Recipe Name:

Patients eligible for the NBCSP aged 50 years and 4 months or older


Bowel cancer is Australia’s second biggest cancer killer, yet only 4 out 10 eligible people in take part in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.[1]

When detected early bowel cancer can be successfully treated in 90% of cases.[2]

The NBCSP sends people aged 50-74 a free bowel cancer screening test (iFOBT) around the time of their even numbered birthdays (50, 52, 54 etc.).

This recipe supports practices to identify people who have not responded to invitations to screen from the NBCSP so that the practice can reinforce to the patient the importance of completing their bowel cancer screening test when they receive it in the post. 

The recipe identifies people who are four months or more overdue for screening, allowing a three month period for people to return their bowel cancer screening test.

[1] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW): Analysis of cancer outcomes and screening behaviour for national cancer screening programs in Australia . Canberra : AIHW, 2018.

[2] Cancer Institute NSW, 2019: Do the test.


Patients aged 50 years and 4 months or older with no recorded FOBT or no recorded FOBT in the past 28 months

Recipe Limitations:

This report excludes patients with a number of conditions under the 'ineligible’ category.

Practices should be aware of the diagnosis codes that PEN uses to assign patients to ‘ineligible’. 

Practices should undertake periodic clinical review of patients in the ‘ineligible’ category to assess if any of these patients should return to screening.

Your practice may have patients that you consider clinically ineligible for screening that are not captured by these diagnosis codes.  These patients should be manually opted out of screening.

CAT Starting Point:

  1. CAT Open - CAT4 view (all reports) loaded
  2. Population Extract Loaded and Extract Pane “Hidden”
    1. Filter Pane open
    2. OPTIONAL under the ‘General’ tab ‘Active Patients’ (3x <2 years) selected

CAT4 starting point

RECIPE Steps Filters:

  • In the “General” Tab, select the 'Mths' radio button and enter Start Age = 604 and End Age = 888 months. Practices should decide if they want to send screening reminders to active patients only. Population based screening programs target asymptomatic patients. You may have some patients who consider your practice their medical home who do not fit the criteria for being an ‘active’ patient. If required, select 'Active' to search for your active patients only.\

  • Click "Recalculate"
  • Click ‘Hide Filters’

Report Steps

  • Select the "Screening/FOBT/FOBT Last Recorded" tab

This report will show the selected patients and the proportion of patients with a FOBT recorded. To find patients with no FOBT recorded or no FOBT recorded in the last 28 months, select the following slices of the graph:

  • >2-3 years,
  • >3-4 years,
  • > 4 years,
  • No FOBT Recorded

  • Click on the 'Export' button to see a list of eligible patients. This report will have patients with their last FOBT at least 24 months ago, but it can be sorted by the 'FOBT last recorded' column to find those patients with a last result at least 28 months ago.

To Export Patient List to Microsoft Excel:

1.  Click on the “Export Icon”  at the top of the Patient Reidentification window.

2.  Click on “XLSX”

3.   Choose a file name and a location to save to (eg. Create a folder C:/ClinicalAudit/CAT Patient Follow Up)

4.  Click “Save”

The steps above will produce a list of patients with contact details in MS Excel which can then be used to:

  1. Produce a mail merge or bulk SMS to remind patients to attend cancer screening.
  2. Phone patients to update their record or to remind them to attend cancer screening.
  3. Go back through the individual patient records in the GP Clinical Desktop System (CDS) and update known records

Optional Steps

There are a number of optional steps you can add. In the interest of keeping these recipes short, the optional steps are available in separate guides. You can combine the steps above with one, two or all three of the optional steps depending on your target group of patients.

Using Topbar Prompts in Recipes - create reminders for your clinicians based on the recipe searches

Using Recall CAT in Recipes - SMS and Voicemail directly from CAT4

Combine Screening Searches with MBS item eligibility - recall patients who are also eligible for MBS items related to chronic disease care or prevention