[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective was to evaluate patient acceptance and understanding of nontargeted opt-out and opt-in rapid human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening using computerized kiosks in the emergency department (ED).
This study was a prospective quasi-experiment in an urban hospital with an annual ED and urgent care census of 120,000 visits. During medical screening, patients 13 years and older were offered rapid HIV screening using kiosks and opt-out consent (October 2009) or opt-in consent (December 2009). Random time blocks were used to administer structured surveys to evaluate patient understanding of the testing process.
During the opt-out phase, 6,602 were offered testing, and of these 3,993 (61%) did not opt-out and 886 (13%) completed screening. During the opt-in phase, 5,781 were offered testing, and of these 930 (16%) opted-in and 389 (7%) completed screening (absolute difference = 6%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 5% to 8%). During the opt-out phase, 330 patients completed the survey. Of these, 201 (61%) did not opt-out, but 108 (54%, 95% CI = 47% to 61%) responded that they had not been informed about an HIV test. Of the 84 patients who had been informed, 32 (38%, 95% CI = 28% to 49%) responded that they had not agreed to an HIV test. During the opt-in phase, 416 completed the survey. Of these, 80 (19%) agreed to testing and two (3%, 95% CI = 0.3% to 9%) responded that they had not been informed about an HIV test. Of the 74 patients who had been informed, only two (3%, 95% CI = 0.3% to 9%) responded that they had not agreed to an HIV test.
Computerized kiosks can be successfully used to perform nontargeted rapid HIV screening in EDs. However, when using this approach, patient understanding of opt-in consent is significantly better than opt-out consent.
Preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Academic Emergency Medicine