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BMC Infect Dis. 2016 Aug 12;16:410. doi: 10.1186/s12879-016-1765-y.

Putting "sticky notes" on the electronic medical record to promote intra-hospital referral of hepatitis B and C virus-positive patients to hepatology specialists: an exploratory study.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Osaka City Juso Hospital, Nonaka-kita, Yodogawa, Osaka, 532-0034, Japan.
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Osaka City Juso Hospital, Nonaka-kita, Yodogawa, Osaka, 532-0034, Japan.
Department of Hepatology, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka City University, Abeno, Osaka, 545-8585, Japan.



Currently, no system for appropriate intra-hospital collaboration regarding hepatitis virus positive individuals exists, even in medical institutions with hepatologists among their staff. The main objective of this study was to explore a simple alert system to promote the referral of patients with hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)- or anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies positivity to hepatologists through electronic medical records.


Since April 2014 at Osaka City Juso Hospital, "sticky notes" have been put on the electronic medical records of patients newly diagnosed with HBsAg- or anti-HCV- antibodies positivity to recommend intra-hospital referral of those patients to specialists. In this study, we investigated the number of referrals to hepatologists before vs. after the introduction of this system (that is, in fiscal years 2013 [Period 1] and 2014 [Period 2], respectively), and the subsequent clinical courses of the patients.


The proportions of patients with HBsAg and anti-HCV antibody positivity did not show statistically significant differences between Period 1 and Period 2 (1.6 % [43/2,757] vs. 1.3 % [39/2,891], p = 0.58; and 5.8 % [156/2,674] vs. 5.3 % [147/2,790], p = 0.39, respectively). However, the referral proportions for patients with HBsAg- and anti-HCV antibody positivity were significantly higher in Period 2 (73 % [11/15] and 65 % [41/63], respectively) than in Period 1 (28 % [5/18] and 17 % [9/54]) (p = 0.009 and p < 0.001, respectively). Among patients who were referred to hepatologists, 2 HBsAg-positive and 4 anti-HCV antibody positive patients initiated antiviral treatment.


Our simple electronic medical record based alert system effectively promoted intra-hospital referral of hepatitis virus-positive patients, who have been detected by screening tests, to hepatologists.


Hepatitis B virus; Hepatitis C virus; Intra-hospital referral; Screening

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