Electronic medical records may help to identify and test children born to mothers infected with hepatitis C, according to a recent study published online on January 7, 2014, in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children 18 months and older who have been exposed to hepatitis C virus (HCV) receive HCV antibody testing, a majority of these children are never tested. To increase appropriate testing, the pediatric infectious disease service at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, began using electronic medical records to identify infants at risk in 2006.
Electronic medical records of all infants born to mothers infected with HCV from 1993 to 2005 were identified and reviewed. The intervention included contacting the primary care provider and requesting HCV testing for children who had not yet been tested. From 2006 to 2011, children born to mothers with HCV were identified through electronic medical records and the intervention included consultations during hospitalization for birth and contact with the primary care physician to ensure HCV testing.
The results of the study indicate that the interventions increased appropriate HCV testing among HCV-exposed children significantly, from 8% to 50%. The interventions identified 5 children infected with HCV, 3 of whom were born before 2006 and were previously undiagnosed. SPT