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The cost of HIV testing in the emergency room

lyons kelton ward.jpg
UC Academic Health Center Public Relations

Government recommendations suggest all adults be tested for HIV. Researchers at UC want to find out if it makes sense to do so during emergency room visits.

Even on weekday afternoons University Hospital's emergency room is filled. There isn't time to test everyone here for HIV unless there are noticeable signs they may be at risk. For more than a decade Dr. Michael Lyons has been researching emergency department HIV screening.

"One of the main reasons that emergency departments don't test is because they're already overcrowded, strained and having difficulty meting their primary mission."

In hopes of increasing the testing, Lyon's teamed with UC business professor Dr. David Kelton to study the issue.

"There's specialized simulation software that we'll be using for this and that's the way we're looking at the ED operations."

Kelton will enter data from three Cincinnati hospitals to find out if HIV screening is too expensive or increases wait times. The data will be made available to other hospitals nationwide.