The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 75% of U.S. adults infected with Hepatitis C virus (HCV) were born between 1945 and 1965. In 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued guidelines recommending HCV screening of patients born in this timeframe. To increase screening rates, our hospital instituted a computer prompt reminding clinicians to order HCV tests in this population. We examined screening rates prior to and following the institution of this intervention.
This is a retrospective cohort study evaluating the efficacy of an intervention intended to increase the rate of HCV screening. The rates of screening prior to and following the institution of a computer prompt reminding clinicians to order HCV tests were analyzed. Data on reasons for why HCV screening was not ordered were likewise analyzed.
Electronic records covering the month prior to the initiation of the intervention and the three months following were analyzed. During the month prior to the prompt, 46 patients were screened for HCV. In the months that followed, the mean number of screened patients rose 87% to 86. Data detailing reasons for why HCV screening was not ordered were collected. Over the four-month period evaluated, 569 eligible patients were not tested; the primary reasons for non-testing included patient refusal (243, 43%) and a lack of capacity to consent (120, 21%).
An uncomplicated computer prompt can dramatically improve adherence to HCV screening guidelines. The CDC estimates implementation of these new guidelines can identify up to 800,000 previously undiagnosed cases of HCV. Low cost interventions such as this can go a long way toward meeting that goal.
 CDC. Viral hepatitis surveillance, United States, 2009–2011. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/Statistics/2010Surveillance/index.htm. Accessed May 20, 2015.
M. Malik, None
A. Belfer, None
M. Hasan, None
S. Burney, None
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