EHRs boost routine HIV screening rates

Health facilities in New York City and New Orleans are using EHRs to increase the rate of routine HIV screening, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In New York, a federally qualified health center offered HIV tests to patients between 13 and 64 years old who hadn't been tested the previous year, per state mandate. Clinicians then documented the offer and any tests in the EHR. If the test results were positive, program coordinators contacted patients and scheduled appointments to discuss next steps.

HIV testing rates rose from 8 percent to 56 percent after implementing the EHR documentation program, according to the report.

A hospital in New Orleans implemented alerts in the EHR to prompt clinicians to offer HIV tests to urgent care and emergency department patients who had not been tested in the past six months. In the urgent care center, testing rates increased from 3 percent to 17 percent. In the ED, testing rates increased from 17 percent to 26 percent, according to the report.

The report suggests similar methods could be implemented in other healthcare settings to increase HIV testing rates.

More articles on EHRs:

HIEs and interoperability: 6 statistics on quality, efficiency
5 statistics on EHR adoption over the past 5 years
Chuck Lauer: EHRs seem like more of a problem than a solution

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