Date on Paper


Document Type

Doctoral Paper

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Hammash, Muna

Committee Member

Abusalem, Said

Author's Keywords

human immunodeficiency virus; hepatitis C virus; injection drug use; HIV outbreak; PWIDs; drug abuse


Background: The United States is experiencing an epidemic of opioid drug use that has increased the number of people who inject drugs (PWID). This has resulted in an increase in the risk of transmission of blood-borne pathogens including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) among this population. Although injection drug use has surpassed sexual transmission as the leading risk factor for HIV, PWID have the least access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and healthcare. Current guidelines recommend testing individuals from high-risk populations for HIV/HCV every six months. Offering routine, opt-out, targeted, bundled HIV/HCV testing in an emergency department (ED) setting is key in reaching high-risk populations who often have no other access to medical services.

Purpose: To evaluate utilization of St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s existing HIV/HCV screening program.

Method: A retrospective chart review design was used to evaluate utilization of St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s existing HIV/HCV screening program. Kendall’s tau was used to evaluate trends over a seven-month period for action taken, BPA override rationale, test ordered and encounter site.

Findings: N = 3,555 patient encounters that triggered the HIV/HCV screening protocol BPA between March 1, 2019 and September 30, 2019, but only 10.2% (n = 363) of patients completed HIV/HCV testing, with 48.32% of patients opting out of testing.

Conclusion: The results of the data analysis show that the HIV/HCV Screening Protocols are not being utilized to their full potential.

Included in

Nursing Commons