1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
2 Boston University Master's Program in Public Health, Section of Infectious Disease, Department of General Internal Medicine, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
3 Center for Infectious Diseases and Public Health Programs Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of General Internal Medicine Boston University Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
4 Clinical Microbiology & Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory Medicine, Boston University Medical Center, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts United States of America.
5 Department of Pharmacy Operations & Project Management, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
It is unclear whether sites that screen large numbers of patients for Hepatitis C Virus but achieve limited follow-up are more or less effective at having patients succeed through linkage and treatment than lower volume sites that have higher linkage percentages. The objective was to compare the rates of HCV identification, linkage to care, and treatment success between different study sites including the Emergency Department, 3 outpatient clinics with unique patients, and the inpatient setting at one medical center.
This is a descriptive analysis of 2 years of data from a protocol that integrated HCV screening and treatment into clinical services throughout multiple departments in one medical center. The program used a best practice advisory to prompt testing at all sites, with different triggers for it to fire at each site, and one central navigation program that attempted to link all patients diagnosed with hepatitis C virus to outpatient care. Outcomes included volume of tests performed in each site, Antibody and RNA rates at each site, demographic data, navigation and linkage outcomes, and post-linkage treatment completion.
28,435 patients were screened across 5 clinical locations. RNA+ rates and absolute numbers linked to MD (linkage rates among all RNA+) were: ED 7.2% RNA+, 224 (22.6%) linked; Inpatient 14.8% RNA+, 27 (17.6%) linked, General Internal Medicine 3.9% RNA+, 269 (65.8%) linked, Infectious Diseases 4.0% RNA+, 34(70.8%) linked, Family Medicine 2.0% RNA+, 28 (75.7%) linked. Demographics, linkage barriers, and treatment initiation rates were different at all sites.
Among sites there were differences in the sociodemographic characteristics of patients diagnosed with HCV, as well as differences in the success linking patients to outpatient care. At this medical center, the ED screened the most patients, the inpatient area had the highest RNA positivity rate, the FM clinic had the highest linkage rate, GIM linked the most patients by absolute number, and GIM also had the highest number of patients start treatment.