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Moving beyond the guidelines to improve detection of viral hepatitis (HBV) and linkage to care
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March 1 2024
A universal one-time HBV screening program for adults implemented in the Mount Sinai Health System in New York showed that the rates of HBV detection and linkage to care increase significantly when primary care providers can rely on automatic prompts in electronic medical records (EMRs), and receive education and support from patient navigators. Results from the ongoing program, presented at the 2023 Liver Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, in Boston, Massachusetts, revealed that HBV screening rates increased five times between September 2022 and September 2023 in pilot clinics. Providers at those clinics were prompted by EMR alerts to screen all patients whose records did not include results for all three serologic tests recommended for universal HBV screening [4]: HBsAg, antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs), and antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc). The prompts enabled providers to order any of the three tests in the panel with one click. In health systems like Mount Sinai, hepatitis B care is generally integrated into HIV care services.
Six additional primary care clinics in Queens, Nassau, and Westchester counties are expected to join the program in the coming months. In the meantime, program coordinators are working with residents at the pilot clinics to provide peer education to their fellow residents. "We hope to have updated data soon to track whether the [additional] education sessions further boosted screening rates," Mageras added.

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