World Health Organization sets up an ambitious and attainable goal to eliminate hepatitis C (HCV) by 2030. The previous diagnosed HCV patients lost to follow-up were considered as an important target group for HCV elimination. We conducted a call back program to retrieve the lost to follow-up HCV patients and link them to care in our hospital. By analyzing and comparing our result with that from other studies, we wish to improve our retrieval strategy and provide our experience to the general communities.
A list of the patients with a medical record showing seropositive for antibody to HCV (anti-HCV Ab) from 2004 to 2017 was retrieved by the department of intelligent technology of our hospital. Three dedicated staff members reviewed the patients’ electronic medical records (EMRs) and recruited the patient lost follow-up to the call back program. The staff members contacted the qualified patients by telephone and inquired about their opinions for treating their chronic HCV infection. We also informed the patients about the retrieval strategy and why we contact them. As our National Health Insurance request, we gave all patient one informed consent for hepatitis C treatment. Informed consents have been obtained from all patients. Referrals to our gastroenterology unit (GU) were arranged for the patients who would like to continue their chronic HCV care in our hospital.
There were 31,275 anti-HCV positive patients. We included 11,934 patients (38.2%) into the call back system and contacted them by telephone. Based on the response to our call, we ascertained 1277 eligible cases (10.7%) for retrieval. The patients who were younger (< 55), lived in Taoyaun City or had tested positive for anti-HCV Ab at the department of internal medicine department had an increased rate of successful call back. There were 563 patients (44.1%) returning to our GU. Of them, 354 patients (62.9%) were positive for HCV viremia. 323 patients (91.2%) received the DAAs treatment. The SVR12 with Grazoprevir + elbasvir, Glecaprevir + pibrentasvir, Sofosbuvir + ledipasvir and Sofosbuvir + velpatasvir were 97.9%, 98.8%, 100% and 97.5%, respectively.
Call back system can expand our reach to those unaware or ignoring chronic HCV infection patients and link them to treatment.

© 2023. The Author(s).