The Expanded HIV Testing Grant

The HIV Testing grant really got started in September 2015. Our overarching goal was to build a culture of HIV screening where we offer every person who walks through our doors an HIV test.

We set out to accomplish this by modifying our systems to:

Institute standing orders and alerts in our EHR so MAs could order an HIV test with the click of a button
Determine the most appropriate testing method for each site and seamlessly integrate labs into the overall clinic workflow
Devise clinic-specific processes to ensure a well-defined, legal, and compliant process
Provide feedback via data reports to encourage providers and staff and move us

In addition, we set out to increase provider and medical assistant knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs by training them to:

Know how HIV is and is not transmitted, and how it is prevented and treated
Be comfortable speaking about HIV and informing patients that we test everyone
Offer HIV screening during any routine blood draw
Understand the legal obligations involved in HIV testing
Check the practice alert in the health record to verify whether a patient has had or refused an HIV test in the past 12 months
Order the HIV test after counseling patients about the test, informing them about HIV treatment options, and advising them of their right to decline the test

The grant funding included salary for an HIV Testing Training Specialist. In an environment with multiple competing priorities, this person effectively championed the project, and was an essential part of the project’s success.