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Leave No-One Behind: A Retrospective Study of Hepatitis C Testing and Linkage to Care for Hospital Inpatients

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 06:11 authored by Christine RoderChristine Roder, C Cosgrave, K Mackie, SK Roberts, ME Hellard, AJ Wade, JS Doyle
Hospital admissions are a missed opportunity to engage people living with hepatitis C virus (HCV) into care. This study aimed to describe the proportion of hospital inpatients and emergency department (ED) patients identified with hepatitis C who were subsequently linked to care and treatment at a metropolitan health service in Melbourne, Australia. Data were collected retrospectively from hospital databases (admissions, notifiable diseases, and pharmacy) for all adults admitted or attending the ED with separation coding indicating hepatitis C infection from March 2016 to March 2019. There were 2149 patients with at least one separation with hepatitis C coding. 15.4% (331/2149) had a documented antibody test, 4.6% (99/2149) had a documented RNA test, and 8.3% (179/2149) had a DAA prescription dispensed by hospital pharmacy. Antibody positivity was 95.2% (315/331) and RNA (when completed) was detected in 37.4% (37/99). Hepatitis specialist units had the highest rate of hepatitis C coded separations and RNA testing (39/88; 44.3%), mental health had the highest rate of antibody testing (70/276; 25.4%). Emergency had the lowest rate of antibody testing (101/1075; 13.7%) and the third highest rate of RNA testing (32/94; 34.1%), but the highest rate of RNA detected (15/32; 46.9%). This study highlights key steps to improve the care cascade. Simplified diagnostic pathways, expansion of hepatitis C care services, and clear in-hospital pathways to link patients to care would be beneficial in this setting. To scale up hepatitis C testing and treatment as part of national elimination strategies, hospital systems need to target interventions to their local data.

History

Journal

Viruses

Volume

15

Article number

913

Pagination

913-913

Location

Switzerland

ISSN

1999-4915

eISSN

1999-4915

Language

en

Issue

4

Publisher

MDPI AG