Fauquier Health Gastroenterology Welcomes Direct Patient Access Program for Colonoscopy Screenings
July 24, 2023
Earlier this year, in March 2023, Fauquier Health officially welcomed new Gastroenterologist, Ivan Harnden, MD, MBA to the community. Since his arrival, Dr. Harnden has been working diligently to develop a Direct Access Program to make access to colonoscopy screenings easier and more convenient for patients. The Direct Access Program alleviates the need for patients to schedule an in-office visit prior to receiving the colonoscopy procedure.
Colonoscopy is a preventative screening procedure that can help to detect colon cancer early. Colon cancer is one of the most common types of cancers and, contrary to popular belief, can affect both men and women equally. Colonoscopies also identify colon polyps, which can be pre-cancerous. Once polyps are identified they can easily be removed, which can help to prevent colon cancer later in life.
“A big focus in gastroenterology, and cancer screening in general, is making sure that we are detecting colon cancer early and hopefully preventing it,” said Dr. Harnden. “We used to start screening at age 50, but in the past few years there have been new guidelines developed. We now recommend that colon cancer screening should start at age 45 for an average risk patient.”
Patients are eligible for the Direct Access Program if they meet screening criteria. This includes patients at average risk, or those with family history or personal history of colon polyps or colon cancer. A patient will go over a quick screening questionnaire with a member of the clinical care team. After completing the necessary criteria check from the questionnaire, the clinical team will then work to schedule the patient for their screening colonoscopy procedure at the hospital without the need for an in-office appointment before the procedure. The patient will receive information on completing their colonoscopy preparation. On the day of the procedure, the patient will have the opportunity to meet with Dr. Harnden beforehand.
Patients in need of a screening colonoscopy can call the Direct Access Program line at 540.316.5990 and leave a voicemail. A member of the clinical care team will return the phone call to discuss next steps.
To learn more about Fauquier Health Gastroenterology, Dr. Ivan Harnden, and the Direct Access Program, we encourage you to listen to the brief podcast in partnership with Virginia Healthcare & Hospital Association. Click Here to listen.
Dr. Harnden is accepting new patients at the Fauquier Health Multispecialty Clinic located at 550 Hospital Drive, Warrenton, VA 20186. The main office line can be reached by calling 540.316.5940. Additional details about Dr. Harnden can be found at FHDoctors.org or FauquierHealth.org.