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Cureus. 2017 Jul 7;9(7):e1441. doi: 10.7759/cureus.1441.

Hepatitis C Screening: The Downstream Dissemination of Evolving Guidelines in a Resident Continuity Clinic.

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Internal Medicine, Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Internal Medicine, Yale Waterbury.


Background In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published guidelines supporting one-time screening for hepatitis C (HCV) in all persons born between 1945 and 1965. It is estimated that 75% of adults infected with HCV fall within this cohort. Furthermore, it is projected that this preventative health intervention would lead to the diagnosis of 800,000 unknown cases and the prevention of 120,000 deaths. Objectives The primary objectives are to measure adherence to HCV screening in a continuity practice staffed by internal medicine residents and attending physicians and to measure the effect of educational interventions to enhance HCV screening. The secondary objectives include finding whether insurance or provider status affects adherence to HCV screening. Methods In 2015, we performed a retrospective chart review of asymptomatic patients born between 1945 and 1965 to estimate the rate of HCV screening. In order to meet inclusion criteria, the patients must have had an HCV status that was unknown and must have been seen by a primary care provider ≥ 2 times between January 1 and December 31, 2013. The data extracted included whether HCV testing was ordered, whether testing was performed primarily for screening purposes, demographic information, insurance status, number of clinic visits, and whether the primary provider was a resident or attending physician. Subsequently, in 2016 we implemented an educational intervention aimed at improving these rates. Afterwards, we repeated the chart review to determine if screening rates had improved. Results Out of 294 patients reviewed pre-intervention, 200 patients were eligible for inclusion, of which 17 (8.5%) patients were offered screening for HCV, of which 13 (76.5%) patients completed testing. Following an educational intervention, 484 patients were reviewed and 100 patients were included, of which 34 (34%) patients were screened. Compared to a pre-intervention screening rate of 8.5%, post-intervention screening had improved to 34%, a 300% increase (p<0.001). Conclusions Educational interventions are feasible and can lead to significant improvements in clinical practice enabling for the rapid dissemination of evolving guidelines.


hepatitis c virus; medical education; preventative health; quality improvement

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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