Alert Boosts Hepatitis C Screenings

One lifetime hepatitis C screening is resoundingly recommended for all patients born between 1945 and 1965 regardless of risk factors, because an estimated 75 percent of those with hepatitis C were born during that time frame.

To spur primary care providers to meet that guideline, Robyn Teply, PharmD, CHI Health pharmacist, worked with IT to create a Hep C Baby Boomer alert in EPIC. It went live at all CHI Health primary care clinics on December 1, 2016. Teply tracked these results:

Four months before the alert:

  • 482 patients screened
  • 20 identified with hep C

Four months after the alert:

  • 5,685 patients screened
  • 107 identified with hep C

“By having an alert, we were able to test and identify patients earlier in the disease process,” Teply said. “That’s good news, because we are now at a point that we have medicines that are curative in as little as eight weeks.”

Next, she plans to gather data for a longer time frame – the year before the alert and the year after. “We are also going to look at the reasons patients weren’t screened,” she said.

Teply also studied the affordability of hepatitis C medications and found this:

“On average, 98 percent of patients pay less than $10 for a month of hepatitis C treatment. The highest copay was $50, and that was only one patient. There’s a lot of good, supportive programs out there to help with drug costs.”