There was an increase in quantity of patients tested for hepatitis C virus (HCV) following implementation of an electronic reminder system in a primary care setting, a recent study found. The retrospective cohort study sought to 1) determine the effect of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation for HCV screening for the population born between 1946-1965; 2) the yield of positive HCV tests as screening strategies have evolved, and according to a patient’s history of serum aminotransferase testing; and 3) the proportion of positive cases followed-up for HCV treatment. Researchers found:
- The study included 60,000 primary care patients serving an urban and rural population in which an EMR reminder was instituted in 2014.
- There was an increase in proportion tested for HCV from 12% prior to the CDC recommendation to 37% after the reminder system.
- The yield of positive HCV antibody tests decreased from 7% to 1.6% after the EMR reminder prompted screening of a lower risk population.
- Patients with a history of abnormal aminotransferase tests had a 5-fold higher rate of positive HCV Ab testing.
MacLean CD, Berger C, Cangiano ML, Ziegelman D, Lidofsky SD. Impact of electronic reminder systems on hepatitis C screening in primary care. [Published online ahead of print February 25, 2018]. J Viral Hepat. doi:10.1111/jvh.12885.
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