Effectiveness of a risk screener in identifying hepatitis C virus in a primary care setting

Mari Lynn Drainoni, Alain H. Litwin, Bryce D. Smith, Elisa A. Koppelman, M. Diane McKee, Cindy L. Christiansen, Allen L. Gifford, Cindy M. Weinbaum, William N. Southern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objectives. We evaluated an intervention designed to identify patients at risk for hepatitis C virus (HCV) through a risk screener used by primary care providers. Methods. A clinical reminder sticker prompted physicians at 3 urban clinics to screen patients for 12 risk factors and order HCV testing if any risks were present. Risk factor data were collected from the sticker; demographic and testing data were extracted from electronic medical records. We used the t test, χ 2 test, and rank-sum test to compare patients who had and had not been screened and developed an analytic model to identify the incremental value of each element of the screener. Results. Among screened patients, 27.8% (n = 902) were identified as having at least 1 risk factor. Of screened patients with risk factors, 55.4% (n = 500) were tested for HCV. Our analysis showed that 7 elements (injection drug use, intranasal drug use, elevated alanine aminotransferase, transfusions before 1992, ≥ 20 lifetime sex partners, maternal HCV, existing liver disease) accounted for all HCV infections identified. Conclusions. A brief risk screener with a paper-based clinical reminder was effective in increasing HCV testing in a primary care setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e115-e121
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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