Laura Rusie is the HIV/STI Evaluator at Howard Brown Health (HBH) in Chicago, one of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer healthcare organizations. She has a Masters of Science degree in Infectious Disease Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, with an emphasis on HIV and hepatitis infections. In her current role at HBH, Laura oversees data management, quality assurance, and reporting for the Sexual and Reproductive Health Department.
Presentation: Integration of Clinic-Based, Opt-Out Testing for HCV into an Existing HIV Testing Framework at a Community Health Center in Chicago
Time: Breakout Session 2
Howard Brown Health, one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ healthcare organizations, obtained funding to create best practices around the expansion of opt-out HIV and HCV testing. The Electronic Medical Record was modified to prompt for HIV testing, and testing was routinized by training Medical Assistants to offer testing using a script. HIV testing was rapid unless patients preferred lab-based. HCV testing was added to order-sets for many visit types. Education emphasized the importance of HCV screening for people born 1945-1965, all HIV-positive patients, and patients with IV drug use/sexual risk. HCV Ab tests auto-reflexed to run a viral load test if positive. The following was quantified: the number of visits where HIV and/or HCV testing were offered and conducted, and the number of new HIV and HCV positives identified and linked to care. Patient refusal reasons were documented and addressed. Ongoing education and progress presentations were given to sustain provider and agency buy-in. Flexibility was allowed in selecting testing types to improve workflow and acceptance. This project contributed to 51% of eligible patients being tested for HCV, and an increase in offers of HIV testing at eligible visits (88% to 99%) while maintaining a testing rate of 90%.
1. Learn about the steps taken to increase routine opt-out HIV and HCV testing at a large community health center.
2. Learn about the methods used to evaluate and refine the initiative.
3. Learn about the quantitative increases in HIV and HCV opt-out testing offers and uptake.