MedStar Health has released a toolkit to improve the early diagnosis of hepatitis C and the frequency with which hepatitis C patients are treated in the primary care setting. The toolkit, called A Pragmatic Guide for Primary Care Practitioners: The Diagnosis and Treatment of Patients with Hepatitis C Virus includes practical steps health practitioners can follow related to screening, testing, workup, treatment and post-cure to improve the diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C. The toolkit was informed by over two years of work with 18 subject matter experts and 38 primary care providers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia.
The number of reported acute hepatitis C infections have more than quadrupled from 2010 to 2018, and The US Department of Health and Human Services has identified untreated Hepatitis C infection as associated with more deaths than the top 60 reportable diseases combined. It is estimated that only 56% of individuals infected with HCV are aware of their infection. Safe and effective treatments that can cure hepatitis C are now available, but many primary care providers find the integration of new guidelines and processes into practice daunting. The toolkit was developed to support the integration of HCV identification and care in the non-specialist clinic.
The toolkit was developed by the MedStar Health Institute for Quality and Safety and the MedStar Health Research Institute under a grant awarded from the Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation. Lead authors of the toolkit were Dr. Christine Goeschel, Assistant Vice President, MedStar Health Institute for Quality and Safety and Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University, Dr. Dawn Fishbein, Scientific Director, Viral Hepatitis Research, MedStar Health Research Institute, and Sara Miller, Vice President of Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, Med-IQ.
For more information or to download A Pragmatic Guide for Primary Care Practitioners: The Diagnosis and Treatment of Patients with Hepatitis C Virus visit: www.medstariqs.org/research-programs
About the MedStar Health Institute for Quality and Safety
The mission of the Medstar Health Institute for Quality and Safety is to partner with patients, their families, and those that take care of them to improve patient care outcomes and reduce the global burden of preventable harm. Established by Medstar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, the Institute provides a global infrastructure in which leaders, front-line care givers, patients and family members jointly develop, educate, assess, and advocate for patient safety and clinical quality initiatives. For more information, visit www.medstariqs.org.
About the Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation
The Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation, Inc. provides grant funding and donations to organizations and innovative programs that improve patient care and safety, promote healthy lifestyles, and support individuals and organizations providing healthcare services. The development of the Foundation exemplifies Coverys’ dedication to being an affirmative and active corporate citizen in the healthcare community and the communities in which it operates.
 “Awareness of chronic viral hepatitis in the United States: An update from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,” Journal of Viral Hepatitis, May 26, 2019.