Healthcare Leadership Perceptions of Screening for Social Risk Factors, toward Colorectal Cancer Screening Uptake

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA)

Committee Chair

Gail Frankle

Committee Member

David Mccurry

Committee Member

Olivia Pollard


Colorectal cancer screening (CRCS) is an underutilized healthcare screening that can be lifesaving. The research is a phenomenological approach to a qualitative methodology, to address the scarce research of healthcare leaders’ perceptions of the impact of social risk factors to CRCS rates within a large healthcare organization in the Midwest. The research question is: What is the perception of social risk factors from healthcare leaders toward CRCS uptake at a major healthcare organization in the Midwest? This qualitative study examines a collection of data extracted from an electronic web-based survey instrument directed toward healthcare leader participants of varying demographics and backgrounds who were provided an upfront social risk factor definition of: Housing stability status, transportation access, food supply, employment, education level, and literacy level. The study assesses how healthcare leaders in the current healthcare environment feel about these social risk factors and if they perceive them as affecting CRCS completion. Study findings help bring awareness to the medical community of employers, payers, healthcare providers, and health systems, which will become literature to support ambulatory practice workflow optimizations. Improvements would involve implementation of new training as well as resources for providers, staff, and patients. Based on the results, organizational change may occur, if financial incentives are available to pay providers for the extra time spent addressing non-clinical social risk on top of other medical assessments.