The use of electronic medical records to prompt HIV testing


Key take-home message
  • Canada has met The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) goal of testing 90% of all people living with HIV; however, an estimated 6,950 people living with HIV remain undiagnosed. Providing HIV testing that is both accessible and feasible remains critical to ensure high-risk individuals can be tested and people living with HIV can be linked to care.
  • Non-targeted screening using electronic medical record (EMR) systems as alerts has shown to increase testing rates in hospitals, emergency departments, and primary care practices.
  • Utilizing an EMR to trigger an HIV testing alert in various health care settings has been used to effectively target individuals who are at a high risk of acquiring HIV. Health care settings that integrated EMR screening programs alongside indicator condition testing and routine, opt-out HIV testing observed an increase in screening rates.
  • Emergency department overcrowding and failure to inform patients of their eligibility to receive HIV testing can decrease rates of EMR-driven HIV screening. Replacing an automatic HIV requisition ordering protocol with a manual entry can also decrease HIV screening, leading to missed HIV diagnoses.


The Ontario HIV Treatment Network: Rapid Response Service




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Health services
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV- population
  • Testing
    • Testing
  • Health Systems
    • Delivery arrangements


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