FierceEMR reported on a study using an electronic health record (EHR) to identify and follow up on infants whose mothers were infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), thus placing them at risk of contracting HCV as well. Researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and MetroHealth Center led a two-part study in which they investigated whether the use of EHR could improve testing rates for high-risk infants.
The researchers conducted a retrospective review of medical records. They then added hepatitis testing to the EHR problem list and electronically messaged high-risk infants’ primary care physicians through the EHR on the need to follow up and test the infants for HCV.
The retrospective review showed that of more than 67,000 children born at the hospital during the study period, 280 had HCV-infected mothers. When the researchers added hepatitis testing to the EHR problem list, the identification rate of infants at high risk increased from 53 percent to 71 percent and follow-up from 8 percent to 50 percent. In addition, EHR identified five more children with HCV; three of them had not been diagnosed previously.
The full report, “Interventions Using Electronic Medical Records Improves Follow Up of Infants Born to Hepatitis C Virus Infected Mothers,” was published online ahead of print in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal (2014; doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000000129).