Date of Award


Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Committee Chair

Haley Hoy

Committee Member

Tene Turner


Hepatitis C, Medical screening, Community health services--Mississippi, Evidence-based medicine


The Hepatitis C virus is recognized worldwide as a public health concern. Despite the omnipresence of the condition, many individuals are oblivious to its presence owing to its asymptomatic nature and poor testing rates. This project evaluated the effectiveness of an evidence-based hepatitis C virus screening protocol to improve hepatitis C virus screening and testing among adult patients utilizing a community health center in North Mississippi. The project was designed as a clinical practice change with three anticipated outcomes following protocol implementation: increased screening rates (for patients), increased testing rates (among providers), and provider adherence to the screening and testing protocol. The project compared a standardized hepatitis C screening and testing protocol to clinician-directed testing without a standardized approach. A consistent procedure improved screening and testing rates and was more inclusive. A local reference lab performed all the testing. Patients were informed of their results, and positive patients were referred to local gastroenterologists for confirmatory testing and treatment. Pre- and post-implementation evaluation analyzed a standardized hepatitis C virus screening and testing strategy. Microsoft Excel descriptive statistics were used to examine baseline data and post-implementation data. In the pre-implementation analysis, 1,298 eligible patients were included. During this time frame, no patients were screened, and just 2% of the population was tested. Seven hundred forty-eight (748) eligible patients were enrolled in the project during the post-implementation phase. Three hundred fifty-seven patients (27%) were screened, and 204 patients (48%) were tested. Utilizing a uniform procedure for hepatitis C virus screening and testing enhanced screening and testing at the community health center. When making changes to clinical practice to improve the quality of care offered to underrepresented patient groups, knowledge, awareness, and attitudes are essential factors to consider.

Available for download on Monday, February 17, 2025