Applying the 8 Ways to Increase Hepatitis C Treatment in my Practice

I am a general practice registrar in Launceston, Tasmania. Attending the Treating Hepatitis C in General Practice Forum was a great educational experience for me. I was able to appreciate the practical intricacies of treating Hepatitis C in the community, and learn from passionate general practitioners from various parts of Australia about treating Hepatitis C.  

I learnt the most from Dr Nada Andric’s presentation about the 8 ways to increase HCV treatment in general practice. She illustrated the 8 steps to take, including audit, training, bloods, GPMP, connect, pharmacy and follow up. They were practical methods and easily translated to my practice in Launceston. Since attending the Forum I have prepared a plan according to the 8 steps: 

  1. Audit – Using the PENCAT clinical audit tool, we would want to extract patients in our system who had a diagnosis of Hepatitis C and/or characteristics associated with Hepatitis C such as intravenous drug use, drug dependence, drug replacement therapy etc. 

  1. Training – We identified a couple of general practitioners who are interested in this project. We had further training from Edith Cowan Hepatitis Online Education and ASHM Hepatitis C clinical decision tool.  

  1. Bloods – We set up autofill for Hepatitis C pathology form and consultation. 

  1. GPMP – We would use the GP Management Plan item to reimburse the work. 

  1. Connect with a Specialist Service – There is a pathway set up by Primary Health Tasmania. We will contact the local hospital gastroenterologist and hepatitis nurse about our project and gain their support. The Reach-C project can also provide us with professional support.  

  1. Pharmacy – We partnered with a local pharmacy to ensure that access to the medication would not be an issue.  

  1. Follow up – We established a protocol document on follow up strategy for Hepatitis C patients. We use the recall function in our patient administration system, and pre-book the appointment slots. 

  1. Normalise HCV Treatment  

In the months since the Forum we have created a list of patients who have been diagnosed with hepatitis C, and the doctors involved with our project have familiarised themselves with the treatment pathway. Our next step is to send out letters to the patients we idendified in our audit. 

Click here to watch Dr Nada Andric and Bec Bowman's presentation "8 Easy Steps to Improve Hepatitis C Treatment in your Practice" 

Author bio:

Dr Boon Shih Sie is a general practice registrar in Launceston, Tasmania.