Sample Letter to Physicians
City, Prov PC
Dear Dr. _______________
Re: ACCSP Implementation in the Calgary area - Update
In November 2003, the Alberta Cervical Cancer Screening Program (ACCSP) sent Calgary area
physicians information about the program and educational materials for use with patients. This
was in anticipation of the launch of the program in the area served by Calgary Laboratory
Services (CLS) in late 2003.
The ACCSP is a program coordinated by the Alberta Cancer Board to organize cervical cancer
screening services for women between the ages of 18 and 69. Intended to enhance and
strengthen the cervical screening services already available to Alberta women, the ACCSP
provides a safety net follow-up system to physicians and patients.
The first phase of the program implementation, the collection of Pap test results and their
encryption and transfer from CLS to the ACCSP information system began in late 2003.
Beginning in April 2004, we will pilot the second phase. Women in the Calgary area who have
recently had a Pap test will receive information about the program. Women who do not wish to
receive communication (results and reminder letters) from the program will have an opportunity to
contact the ACCSP and “opt out”. This means they will not receive communication from the
ACCSP, however, the practitioner will receive test results from the lab and follow-up reminders
from the ACCSP, regardless of whether the woman has decided to opt-out of receiving letters
from the program.*
After a brief delay to allow women to contact the ACCSP, the result letters will be sent. If the
result is abnormal, we will ensure that there is sufficient delay in sending the letter so that the
woman’s physician has time to contact her about follow-up.
The program will roll out across Alberta over the next few years, and will include reminder letters
to women when they are due for their next Pap test. While the screening program will not initially
invite women to schedule a Pap test, when the program is fully implemented, women will be
encouraged to make screening appointments with their physicians.
What should I do differently in my practice?
1. Let women know about the screening program.
2. Continue to recall and track patients as you currently do. The ACCSP is intended to act as a
back up, and is not intended to interfere with or replace the usual communication between
practitioners and their patients.
*CLS will continue to send physicians reminders for the small number of women who are not eligible for the
ACCSP i.e. those under 18 or without Alberta Health Care coverage.
A Provincial Program Coordinated by the Alberta Cancer Board
2202 – 2 Street SW, Calgary, Alberta Canada T2S 3C1 Tel: (403) 355-3260 Fax: (403) 355-3289
Toll Free: 1-866-PAP-EXAM (1-866-727-3926) Web Site: www.cancerboard.ab.ca/ACCSP
What’s in it for my patients and me?
1. Fewer phone calls from patients inquiring about test results.
2. ACCSP will provide health care practitioners with lists of their patients who are overdue for
3. Better follow-up of hard to track patients.
4. A safety net to provide follow-up of abnormal results that may have been overlooked or
5. The possibility of moving to a longer screening interval once the program has been fully
Helping you inform your patients
Along with our November 2003 letter, we included materials for your patients that provide
information about the ACCSP. If you would like additional posters, brochures and program
announcements, you may order them by faxing the enclosed order form, or by calling 1-866-PAP-
We are keen to collaborate with health care practitioners throughout Alberta to reduce the
incidence and mortality from cervical cancer through enhanced prevention, early detection and
treatment of precursor conditions. We hope you will support this new initiative and its benefits to
As women receive letters of invitation, those who do not have a regular physician may seek a
service provider through resources such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons website -
http://www.cpsa.ab.ca/ and Calgary Health Region MD Link - http://www.crha-
health.ab.ca/mdlink/ or 943-LINK. If you have recently changed the status of your practice
regarding accepting new patients, you may wish to ensure that the information is updated at
these services, so as to avoid unnecessary phone calls to your office.
If you have any questions about the ACCSP or the information system, please call 1-866-PAP-
EXAM (1-866-727-3926) or e-mail Program Coordinator Eileen Bell at
firstname.lastname@example.org . Information is also available at the ACCSP web site:
Margaret Churcher, M.D. Carolyn Pim, M.D. Ranjit Waghray, M.D.
Family Physician, Calgary Director, ACCSP Section Head, Cytopathology
ACCSP Advisory Committee Calgary Laboratory Services