- 1Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.
- 2St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada; University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introduction and objectives: Hepatitis C (HCV) screening is imperative to meet WHO elimination targets including increased detection and reduced mortality. An electronic medical record (EMR) system can be utilized in health care centers to indicate if a patient should be targeted for HCV screening, thus increasing the number of those offered testing.
Materials and methods: We examined English language publications reporting on the impact of EMR system utilization on HCV screening and the HCV continuum of care. Relevant papers were identified using multiple search engines to search key terms. Clinical outcomes considered included any or no change in HCV screening rates following EMR system introduction, as well as any or no change in rates of patients progressing along the HCV cascade of care after diagnosis once an EMR system was implemented.
Results: From a search pool of 18 studies, 11 meet inclusion criteria and reported on the selected clinical outcomes. Each outcome assessed indicated that use of an EMR system increased the proportion of patients offered and/or receiving HCV testing. We were unable to conclude if an EMR system had an impact on the number of patients progressing along the HCV cascade of care following a positive test result. Overall, all methods of implementation of an EMR system had the same outcome of increasing screening rates.
Conclusions: EMR system utilization had a positive impact on increasing HCV screening. However, the clinical effectiveness of utilizing an EMR system to help eliminate transmission and increase HCV treatment cure rates requires further study.