Update on the Reporting of Chronic Hepatitis C Cases

Indiana Epidemiology Newsletter

Mike Wilkinson
Hepatitis C Epidemiologist

2006 was an important year for hepatitis C reporting in Indiana. The ISDH developed a fax transmission system for submitting case reports and requested voluntary investigation of chronic hepatitis C cases (effective May 25, 2006). Data analysis of these reports is under way to identify significant risk factors of hepatitis C transmission in Indiana, which will be critical in determining how to best target prevention and funding.

The ISDH developed The Users Guide for Hepatitis C Reporting, which is available on the local health department SharePoint portal. This document explains the process for investigating and reporting hepatitis C cases. Additional telephone lines have been added to the fax transmission system, reducing the number of busy signals that were experienced in the beginning of this process. However, some issues still remain. The following questions and answers are provided to help resolve reporting issues.

Question: The fax confirmation says ‘OK’, so can I be assured that the investigation form transmitted properly?

Answer: While the fax may have transmitted, the ‘OK’ does not confirm that the information entered the database properly. The system scans the six-page report into the database for verification and processing. This occurs after fax transmission. The ‘OK’ confirmation simply means that the fax went through, not that the information entered the database properly.

Q: Can I make copies of Hepatitis C Case Investigation report (State Form 52588) and fax the investigation report copies to the ISDH?

A: The database system is very sensitive and often will not interpret photocopied letters and numbers as accurately as those that are entered online. For best results, fax only an original printout of the report. Make sure that the toner cartridge in the printer is working properly.

Q: What do I do if I cannot make contact with the case to complete the investigation report?

A: After making a reasonable attempt to contact the case, complete as much of the six-page reporting form as possible, including demographic information. Please submit all six pages, whether or not they are completed.

Q: If the ISDH requests that I follow up a lab result, do I need to resubmit a copy of the lab report?

A: The ISDH has already made copies of lab reports prior to sending them for follow-up, so you do not need to send another copy of the lab report to the ISDH.

Q: Do I need to include the First Date Positive information on the case investigation form?

A: Yes, always include First Date Positive (date blood sample collected) on the second page of the investigation report. This ensures that the case will be included in the correct calendar year’s data.

For questions or further information, please contact Mike Wilkinson, 317.234.2827 or mwilkins@isdh.in.gov. You may also reference the June 2006 edition of the Indiana Epidemiology Newsletter at http://www.in.gov/isdh/dataandstats/epidem/epinews_index.htm