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1.  A System-wide Intervention to Improve HIV Testing in the Veterans Health Administration 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2008;23(8):1200-1207.
Background
Although the benefits of identifying and treating asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals are firmly established, health care providers often miss opportunities to offer HIV-testing.
Objective
To evaluate whether a multi-component intervention increases the rate of HIV diagnostic testing.
Design
Pre- to post-quasi-experiment in 5 Veterans Health Administration facilities. Two facilities received the intervention; the other three facilities were controls. The intervention included a real-time electronic clinical reminder that encourages HIV testing, and feedback reports and a provider activation program.
Patients
Persons receiving health care between August 2004 and September 2006 who were at risk but had not been previously tested for HIV infection
Measurements
Pre- to post-changes in the rates of HIV testing at the intervention and control facilities
Results
At the two intervention sites, the adjusted rate of testing increased from 4.8% to 10.8% and from 5.5% to 12.8% (both comparisons, p < .001). In addition, there were 15 new diagnoses of HIV in the pre-intervention year (0.46% of all tests) versus 30 new diagnoses in the post-intervention year (0.45% of all tests). No changes were observed at the control facilities.
Conclusions
Use of clinical reminders and provider feedback, activation, and social marketing increased the frequency of HIV testing and the number of new HIV diagnoses. These findings support a multimodal approach toward achieving the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s goal of having every American know their HIV status as a matter of routine clinical practice.
doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0637-6
PMCID: PMC2517965  PMID: 18452045
diagnosis; HIV testing; quality improvement
2.  Improving HIV Screening and Receipt of Results by Nurse-Initiated Streamlined Counseling and Rapid Testing 
Background
HIV testing is cost-effective in unselected general medical populations, yet testing rates among those at risk remain low, even among those with regular primary care. HIV rapid testing is effective in many healthcare settings, but scant research has been done within primary care settings or within the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs Healthcare System.
Objectives
We evaluated three methods proven effective in other diseases/settings: nurse standing orders for testing, streamlined counseling, and HIV rapid testing.
Design
Randomized, controlled trial with three intervention models: model A (traditional counseling/testing); model B (nurse-initiated screening, traditional counseling/testing); model C (nurse-initiated screening, streamlined counseling/rapid testing).
Participants
Two hundred fifty-one patients with primary/urgent care appointments in two VA clinics in the same city (one large urban hospital, one freestanding outpatient clinic in a high HIV prevalence area).
Measurements
Rates of HIV testing and receipt of results; sexual risk reduction; HIV knowledge improvement.
Results
Testing rates were 40.2% (model A), 84.5% (model B), and 89.3% (model C; p = <.01). Test result receipt rates were 14.6% (model A), 31.0% (model B), 79.8% (model C; all p = <.01). Sexual risk reduction and knowledge improvement did not differ significantly between counseling methods.
Conclusions
Streamlined counseling with rapid testing significantly increased testing and receipt rates over current practice without changes in risk behavior or posttest knowledge. Increased testing and receipt of results could lead to earlier disease identification, increased treatment, and reduced morbidity/mortality. Policymakers should consider streamlined counseling/rapid testing when implementing routine HIV testing into primary/urgent care.
doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0617-x
PMCID: PMC2517869  PMID: 18421508
nurse-initiated HIV screening; HIV rapid testing; streamlined counseling
3.  Implementing and evaluating a regional strategy to improve testing rates in VA patients at risk for HIV, utilizing the QUERI process as a guiding framework: QUERI Series 
Background
We describe how we used the framework of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) to develop a program to improve rates of diagnostic testing for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). This venture was prompted by the observation by the CDC that 25% of HIV-infected patients do not know their diagnosis – a point of substantial importance to the VA, which is the largest provider of HIV care in the United States.
Methods
Following the QUERI steps (or process), we evaluated: 1) whether undiagnosed HIV infection is a high-risk, high-volume clinical issue within the VA, 2) whether there are evidence-based recommendations for HIV testing, 3) whether there are gaps in the performance of VA HIV testing, and 4) the barriers and facilitators to improving current practice in the VA.
Based on our findings, we developed and initiated a QUERI step 4/phase 1 pilot project using the precepts of the Chronic Care Model. Our improvement strategy relies upon electronic clinical reminders to provide decision support; audit/feedback as a clinical information system, and appropriate changes in delivery system design. These activities are complemented by academic detailing and social marketing interventions to achieve provider activation.
Results
Our preliminary formative evaluation indicates the need to ensure leadership and team buy-in, address facility-specific barriers, refine the reminder, and address factors that contribute to inter-clinic variances in HIV testing rates. Preliminary unadjusted data from the first seven months of our program show 3–5 fold increases in the proportion of at-risk patients who are offered HIV testing at the VA sites (stations) where the pilot project has been undertaken; no change was seen at control stations.
Discussion
This project demonstrates the early success of the application of the QUERI process to the development of a program to improve HIV testing rates. Preliminary unadjusted results show that the coordinated use of audit/feedback, provider activation, and organizational change can increase HIV testing rates for at-risk patients. We are refining our program prior to extending our work to a small-scale, multi-site evaluation (QUERI step 4/phase 2). We also plan to evaluate the durability/sustainability of the intervention effect, the costs of HIV testing, and the number of newly identified HIV-infected patients. Ultimately, we will evaluate this program in other geographically dispersed stations (QUERI step 4/phases 3 and 4).
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-3-16
PMCID: PMC2335105  PMID: 18353185

Results 1-3 (3)