1 Department of Family Medicine, Atrium Health, 2001 Vail Avenue, Suite 400B, Charlotte, NC 28207, United States.
2 Department of Infectious Diseases, Atrium Health, 4539 Hedgemore Drive, Suite 100, Charlotte, NC 28209, United States.
Societal and economic burdens of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) continue to grow. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a one-time HCV screen for individuals in the Baby Boomer population (those born between 1945 and 1965) and a one-time HIV screen for all individuals between ages 13-64 years regardless of risk factors, with more frequent screening for both conditions based on individual risk factors. This study took place at Atrium Health, a healthcare system with approximately 12 million patient encounters per year. The aims of this study were to assess the impact of the HCV and HIV electronic medical record (EMR) alerts recently implemented on screening rates and linkage to care. Data were collected from 12 primary care practices. Implementation of EMR alerts increased HCV and HIV screening from 1,934 of 59,632 (3.2%) to 13,726 of 60,422 (22.7%) and 6,950 of 112,813 (6.2%) to 12,379 of 109,173 (11.3%) respectively. The HCV screening resulted in an increase of patients with antibody positive results having a subsequent RNA test from 68% (122/179) to 98% (430/442). 74 of 81 (91%) of HCV and 15 of 15 (100%) of HIV positive patients were linked into care. The addition of an EMR alert was associated with improved screening for HCV and HIV in primary care practices. Screening all patients decreases testing stigma since there is a lowered risk of disease transmission for those who test positive. However, post-intervention screening rates indicate further opportunities exist for additional interventions to increase screening rates.