Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology
Original Article

Electronic Alert System Significantly Increases HBV Screening Rates Before Immunosuppressive Treatments


Department of Gastroenterology, Sakarya University Faculty of Medicine, Sakarya, Turkey


Department of Gastroenterology, Health Sciences University Konya Training and Research Hospital, Konya, Turkey

Turk J Gastroenterol 2023; 34: 552-559
DOI: 10.5152/tjg.2023.22297
Read: 737 Downloads: 329 Published: 01 May 2023

Background: Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) screening rates before starting immunosuppressive treatments are suboptimal. The aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of a new electronic alert system in increasing HBV screening rates.

Methods: The electronic alert system, HBVision2, identifies patients at risk of HBV reactivation when a pre-determined International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 code is entered into the hospital’s database or immunosuppressive treatment is prescribed. The system evaluates the prior Hepatitis B Surfage Antigen (HBsAg) and anti-Hepatitis B Core Immunglobulin G (HBc IgG) results and sends an alert code to the clinician for screening if serology is not completely available or consult a specialist in case of positive serology. The HBV screening and consultation rates of patients before (control group) and after HBVision2 were retrospectively compared. The clinical course of unscreened and/or unconsulted patients was determined, and the clinical efficacy of HBVision2 in preventing HBVr was predicted.

Results: Control group included 815 patients (52.6% male, mean age: 60 ± 12, 82.5% with oncologic malignancy) and study group included 504 patients (56% male, mean age: 60 ± 13, 91.4% with oncologic malignancy). Groups were similar with respect to gender, mean age, and HBVr risk profile of the immunosuppressive treatment protocols. Overall, both HBsAg (from 55.1% to 93.1%) and anti- HBc IgG screening rates significantly increased (from 4.3% to 79.4%) after the electronic alert system (P < .001, for both). Consultation rates of anti-HBc IgG-positive patients significantly increased from 40% to 72.7% (P = .012). HBVr developed in 2 patients (2.6%) who were not screened and/or consulted after the alert system. Alert program prevented the development of HBVr in 10 patients (1.9%) of the study group and decreased the development of HBVr by 80%.

Conclusion: Electronic alert system significantly improved HBsAg and anti-HBc IgG screening rates before starting immunosuppressive treatment and prevented the development of HBVr to a great extent. However, screening rates are still below optimal and need to be improved. 

Cite this article as: Köksal AŞ, Toka B, Sadeçolak M, et al. Electronic alert system significantly increases HBV screening rates before immunosuppressive treatments. Turk J Gastroenterol. 2023;34(5):552-559.

EISSN 2148-5607