A win for the patient: Direct patient notification significantly improves treatment rates of active Helicobacter pylori infection

Sriharan Selvaratnam, Joey Yeoh, John Hsiang, Alasdair B Patrick


Current international guidelines recommend the commencement of effective eradication therapy as soon as active Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is confirmed. At our institution, all positive Campylobacter-like Organism (CLO) test results were automatically communicated to general practitioners (GPs) via a standardised letter, which also advised the commencement of eradication therapy. Despite this endeavour, a clinical audit conducted in 2011 demonstrated that only 66 per cent of confirmed H. pylori-positive South Auckland patients received eradication treatment and only 83 per cent of these patients received treatment within one month.
Improve the timely initiation of H. pylori eradication therapy through direct patient notification.

A prospective clinical audit of 109 consecutive outpatients with a positive CLO test identified at gastroscopy. In addition to standard general practitioner notification, patients were also directly notified of their positive CLO test result via a standardised letter, which provided information about H. pylori and its disease associations as well as advising patients to seek consultation with their GP to commence eradication therapy. Dispensing data was examined using Test Safe electronic records to determine the total uptake and timing of treatment compared to data from a preliminary 2011 audit. 

Ninety-five per cent of H. pylori-positive patients received standard triple therapy; therefore, treatment of active H. pylori infection was significantly higher when patients were directly notified in addition to standard GP notification, when compared to GP notification alone (95 per cent vs 66 per cent, p
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