Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research

ISSN: 2155-6113

Open Access

Decreasing Missed Opportunities for HIV Testing in Primary Care through Enhanced Utilization of the Electronic Medical Record


Ann K. Avery, Michelle Del Toro and Douglaus Einstadter

Objectives: We sought to decrease “missed opportunities” for HIV testing by implementing an electronic medical record based intervention designed to increase HIV testing among previously untested men and women ages 18-64 seeking primary medical care in an urban publicly-funded health care system.
Methods: In July 2010, we implemented an electronic medical record based reminder to alert providers to the absence of an HIV test among all patients’ ages 13-64 years old. We compared the rate of missed opportunities for HIV testing among primary care patients seen during the two and a half years before the intervention with that of patients seen during the two years after the intervention was begun. A “missed opportunity” was defined as the failure of a previously untested patient to obtain HIV testing despite having made one or more primary care office visits during a specified time period.
Results: After the implementation of HIV testing reminders, first-time HIV testing increased significantly for both men and women 18-64 years old, resulting in a significant reduction in “missed opportunities.” The intervention was equally effective across different racial and ethnic groups. An increase in new HIV diagnoses after the intervention was observed, consistent with an increase in the number of individuals in the population who received testing.
Conclusions: An electronic medical record-based reminder can significantly increase HIV testing among men and women ages 18-64 who are seeking primary care services.


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