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Keywords

hepatitis C, screening, quality improvement

 

Authors

  1. Klein, Melissa D.
  2. Harrington, Bryna J.
  3. East, Joan
  4. Cunningham, Jennifer
  5. Ifill, Nicole
  6. Santos, Jan Lee

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a chronic infection that can lead to severe liver damage if left untreated. With increased availability and affordability of curative treatments, screening for HCV has become an important first step in reducing morbidity and mortality. At a rural federally qualified health center in North Carolina, two quality improvement initiatives-an electronic health record (EHR) prompt and educational flyers-were implemented to improve HCV screening rates. We compared the proportion of eligible patients born from 1945 to 1965 who received HCV screening before, during, and after the initiatives. HCV screening rates were highest during the two initiatives (30% and 39%, respectively). Screening rates fell in the 6-month period after the initiatives' conclusion (12%) but remained higher than at baseline (6%). Although HCV screening can increase with simple interventions, more durable solutions are needed to maintain screening coverage.