Despite 2006 recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for opt-out HIV testing in all healthcare settings, Emergency Department (ED) testing has been limited. We conducted an observational cohort study to assess the impact of two workflow interventions on the proportion of HIV tests ordered in an urban academic ED. First, a 4th-generation HIV antigen/antibody combination test replaced the existing assay, and ED staff continued to notify patients of their reactive tests. Six months later, the HIV Rapid Diagnosis Team, composed of an Infectious Diseases (ID) physician and the HIV Advanced Practice Nurse, immediately assisted with disclosure of positive results to the patients and facilitated linkage to outpatient care. The new assay did not change the proportion of HIV tests ordered (0.14-0.11%, χ2, p = 0.2). However, ID support was associated with a statistically significant increase in the proportion of HIV tests ordered (0.14-0.43%, χ2, p < 0.00010) and a nonstatistically significant increase in the proportion of new HIV diagnoses (1.6-6.8%, Fisher exact test = 0.113). Male gender and lack of insurance were associated with a reactive HIV test. Reduction of barriers to linkage to outpatient HIV care through a collaborative relationship between the ED and ID team increased HIV testing and diagnosis. The role of this model as a component of a universal HIV screening program will need to be further assessed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases