J Am Psychiatr Nurses Assoc. 2022 Aug 5:10783903221115741. doi: 10.1177/10783903221115741. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Affecting more than 3.9 million Americans, the hepatitis C virus (HCV) attacks the liver by causing inflammation. Left untreated, HCV can lead to serious consequences. Targeting high-risk individuals in the inpatient psychiatric setting can lead to increased testing and referral.
AIMS: This quality improvement project determined whether an intervention-consisting of a pretest, educational session, posttest, and screening implementation-increased staff knowledge about HCV screening recommendations, identified at-risk individuals, and increased the number of patients screened and referred for treatment.
METHOD: An online HCV educational session was provided to 30 staff at a Midwest regional psychiatric unit. An online pre/posttest was conducted to determine staff knowledge and understanding prior to and after the educational session. An HCV screening tool checklist was incorporated into the electronic health record (EHR) system. A 3-month pre/post-intervention chart review was completed to determine the number of patients identified and screened for HCV.
RESULTS: A comparison of the 30 staff members’ mean pre/posttest scores were calculated using an unpaired t test, showing a prescore mean of 55.15 ± 19.09 and a postscore mean of 85.75 ± 13.44, p < .001. A chi-square analysis indicated that there was a statistically significant post-intervention increase in the percentage of high-risk patients identified (5.6%-36.4%, p < .001) and screened (5.6%-31.4%, p < .001) for HCV compared with pre-intervention.
CONCLUSION: The study intervention increased staff knowledge of HCV guidelines and the number of at-risk patients identified and screened for the disease.