Improving HCV Risk Assessment and Testing in a Federally Qualified Health Center Setting in Baltimore, Maryland.
Approximately 4.1 million adults in the United States have past or current hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Despite efforts to test at least once for the 1945-1965 birth cohort population and others identified at risk, the completion of the annual risk assessment tool and testing of these patients has been suboptimal. The aim of this project was to reduce HCV risk assessment and testing barriers and improve both these rates by 30% within a federally qualified health center setting in Baltimore, Maryland. As part of ongoing efforts to promote HCV risk screening and testing, targeted interventions of staff education, streamlined risk screening assessment, automated electronic health record alerts, push reports, and standing orders were integrated into current screening and testing practices. This study examined the risk assessment tool use and testing rates for 1 month before and after project implementation. All patients who were seen for a primary care visit during the month preceding (n = 8911) and following (n = 8228) the intervention were evaluated. A total of 2973 risk assessments and 1831 HCV tests were completed pre-intervention compared to 3708 risk assessments and 3790 tests post-intervention, demonstrating a 35% and 125% improvement respectively. Seropositivity prevalence of 2.1% pre-intervention increased to 2.9% post-intervention. Efficiencies in workflow processes and staff education successfully impacted the HCV risk screening tool completions and testing rates for the birth cohort and non-birth cohort patients. Integrating such strategies in the primary care workflow can increase HCV detection and timely follow up for vulnerable populations.
Layman, RA; Turner, BS; Harmon, JL; McClymont, U
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