Hepatitis C Point-of-Care Testing in Vulnerable Populations: A Human Factors Study

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Abstract

One third of all hepatitis C virus (HCV) cases in the United States are incarcerated in jails and prisons. Hepatitis C virus testing is primarily accomplished through a clinical laboratory, yet point-of-care (POC) testing is less invasive and results are available in 20 minutes compared with up to 3 weeks. The purpose of this article was to describe the findings of a collaborative project between the Colleges of Engineering and Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in executing a human factors study for HCV antibody testing and screening. Observation and recording of three-step human factors data included length of time and resources required to execute a POC test and technology use data. In the three-step process, more time is spent on filling out paperwork (4.27 minutes) than is spent on the procedure (1.24 minutes) or on counselling (0.55 minutes). The majority of high-risk respondents had access to smart technology within the previous 3 years. Human factors data will enhance the capabilities of testing, data storage, self-management, and aid in formulating an efficient screening model for marginalized patients with liver disease.

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