HIP HOP: Inaugural Hepatitis Industry Meeting
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Australia now has less than nine years to go until the 2030 deadline for the elimination of viral hepatitis as a public health threat. While much progress has been made towards the elimination of hepatitis C, we acknowledge that without an increase in testing and treatment levels, Australia is at risk of not meeting our elimination goals.
Providing a platform for information sharing, Hepatitis Queensland has been funded by Gilead Sciences to run a series of three educational evenings to bring service providers together to collaborate and share their experiences with implementing micro elimination programs through in reach and outreach clinical models.
The inaugural Hepatitis In Reach and Hepatitis Outreach Projects (HIP HOP) meeting was held on Wednesday 5th May and explored the role of Point of Care Testing in organisations currently using this innovative technology.
Presenters, Mary Fenech and Amanda Kvassay from QuIHN and Luke Coffey from QPP shared their experiences from a practical, operational and clinical perspective.
POCT Learnings included:
- Provides amazing opportunities & advantages however, needs to be incorporated into care and not lead the episode of care
- Implementation needs to be well considered & planned to include training of staff, managing the testing process while being underpinned by a quality assurance framework
- Works really well in mass screening – i.e. testing blitzes, correctional facilities, NSP settings
- GeneXpert machines are easy to operate and peer workers are capable of performing the work
- Clients value convenience, faster time to results, with a preference for POCT to be coupled with treatment commencement
- Clients report high levels of satisfaction with “word of mouth” being a strong referral pathway
Fourteen people attended the Brisbane Southside evening, and it is anticipated that the next two meetings will be held in the Ipswich and Brisbane North regions in the latter half of 2021.