Establishing efficient systems through electronic medical records to promote intra-hospital referrals of hepatitis virus carriers to hepatology specialists: A multicenter questionnaire-based survey of 1,281 healthcare professionals

Isao Hidaka, Masaru Enomoto, Syuichi Sato, Atsushi Suetsugu, Tomomitsu Matono, Kiyoaki Ito, Koji Ogawa, Jun Inoue, Mika Horino, Yasuteru Kondo, Isao Sakaida, Masaaki Korenaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective Persistent hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections are major causative factors of hepatic cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. However, the development of antiviral treatment has enabled their suppression. Therefore, the early detection and treatment of these infections are important. The objective of this study was to assess the level of awareness among healthcare professionals about hepatitis virus infection and electronic medical records alert system. Methods We surveyed healthcare professionals from 10 institutions with electronic medical records alert systems. All participants attended a lecture about the reactivation risk due to HBV infections, the most recent antiviral treatment for HCV infections, and the electronic medical records alert system. They participated in a questionnaire-based survey about their awareness of these infections, current status of intra-hospital referral, need for intra-hospital referrals before and after the lecture, and reasons for non-referral of patients to specialists. Results Responses were received from 1,281 healthcare professionals. Physicians and pharmacists had a high level of awareness about HBV and HCV. Among physicians, the level of awareness of those in the surgical field and other fields was significantly lower than that of the professionals in the internal medicine field. The awareness of the need to refer patients to hepatologists increased from 84.7-85.4% before to 93.0% after the lecture. The most frequent reasons for not referring patients previously were “I had no knowledge and/or interest” (28.1% of responses) and “All I did was explain the results orally” (24.2%). Conclusion More widespread education of healthcare personnel is important to increase the number of individuals receiving appropriate treatment from specialist physicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-343
Number of pages7
JournalInternal Medicine
Volume60
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb 1

Keywords

  • Awareness survey
  • Non-specialist physicians
  • Promotion of treatment
  • Viral hepatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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