Health, Medicine

Impact of an Electronic Medical Record-Based System to Promote Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Hepatitis C Virus Screening in Public Hospital Primary Care Clinics

Abstract

Background.

United States guidelines recommend that all adolescents and adults be tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and that persons born between 1945 and 1965 be tested for hepatitis C virus (HCV). Methods.

We used electronic medical record (EMR) data to identify patients in 3 primary care clinics in Seattle, Washington who met national criteria for routine HCV or HIV testing and had no documented history of prior testing. Clinic staff received daily lists of untested patients with scheduled appointments. We used generalized linear models to compare the percentage of patients tested and newly diagnosed with HIV and HCV in the 18 months before and during the intervention. Results.

A total of 16784 patients aged 18–64 and 9370 patients born between 1945 and 1965 received care from January 2011 to December 2015. Comparing the preintervention and intervention periods, the percentage of previously untested patients tested for HIV and HCV increased from 14.9% to 30.8% and from 18.0% to 35.5%, respectively (P < .0001 for both). Despite this increase in testing, there was no change in the percentage of patients newly diagnosed with HIV (0.7% in both periods, P = .96) or HCV (3.6% vs 3.7%, P = .81). We estimate that 1.2%–15% of HCV-infected primary care patients in our medical center are undiagnosed. Conclusions.

EMR-based HCV/HIV testing promotion increased testing but not case finding among primary care patients in our medical center. In our institution, most HCV-infected patients are already diagnosed, primarily through risk-based and clinical screening, highlighting the need to concentrate future efforts on increasing HCV treatment.

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