Those who receive optimal pre-treatment care are much more likely to undergo and complete antiviral treatment for hep C, according to research published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

The study defined optimum pre-treatment care as having satisfied three main components: the doctors need to confirm a positive hep C test with a viral load test, perform a genotyping test, and refer someone with the virus to a specialist.

The study’s lead author, Fasiha Kanwal, MD, an associate professor in gastroenterology and hepatology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, says she hopes that electronic medical records may help improve care.

“It could be just a simple reminder to check someone who has hepatitis C for viral load or genotype and see if the person is a candidate for further evaluation by a specialist,” she says. “Some of these things could be automated, and that takes some of the load off the providers. It might make them more consistent.”