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Implementation and evaluation of a multicomponent quality improvement intervention to improve efficiency of hepatitis C screening and diagnosis.

Hirsch, Amy A; Lawrence, Renée H; Kern, Elizabeth; Falck-Ytter, Yngve; Shumaker, Davis T; Watts, Brook.
Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf; 40(8): 351-7, 2014 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25208440


Given recent advances in hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment, health systems must ensure that patients with a positive HCV antibody receive timely determination of their HCV status through viral testing. At the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, viral testing was completed within six months of the first instance of a positive HCV antibody test for only 45% of patients. Beginning in 2008, three sequential improvements were implemented to close this care gap.


The three sequential improvements phases were as follows: (1) improving patient-centeredness of screening process in ambulatory patients, (2) local implementation of the Department of Veterans Affairs national HCV reflex testing policy, and (3) local evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of local implementation of reflex testing.


From 2005 through 2013, 40 to 150 unique patients/quarter required viral testing following a positive antibody test. The firsts and second-phase improvements resulted in a 68% and 96% completion rate for timely viral testing during respective improvement phases. In the third improvement phase, remaining process problems related to the reflex testing process were identified using a locally developed electronic HCV population management application, resulting in a sustained rate of 100% completion of timely viral testing. Interrupted time series analysis revealed that the implementation of HCV reflex testing had the largest impact on the ability to complete timely viral testing.


A continuous quality improvement approach, supported by an HCV population management application, achieved the complete closure of an important HCV care gap. Reflex testing should be initiated at facilities that have yet to adopt this approach.
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