(HealthDay)—Implementation of an electronic health record (EHR)-based prompt can improve hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening rates among baby boomers, according to a study published online July 17 in Hepatology.

Monica A. Konerman, M.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues assessed the impact of an EHR-based prompt on HCV screening rates in baby boomers. Primary care providers were prompted with an EHR-based Best Practice Advisory (BPA) to perform HCV screening for patients who were born between 1945 and 1965, had no prior diagnosis of HCV infection, and lacked prior documented HCV testing. For newly diagnosed patients, the BPA had associated educational materials, order set, and streamlined access to specialty care.

The researchers found that 52,660 baby boomers were seen in primary care clinics in the three years prior to BPA implementation, and 28 percent were screened. There was an increase in HCV screening from 7.6 percent for patients with a primary care provider visit in the six months before BPA to 72 percent in the one-year after BPA. To date, all 53 patients newly diagnosed were referred for ; 11 had advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis, 20 started treatment, and nine achieved sustained viral response.

"Implementation of an EHR-based prompt increased HCV screening rates among in by five-fold due to efficiency in determining needs for HCV screening and work-flow design," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Bristol-Myers Squibb and Gilead.