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Retention: Building a Patient-Centered Medical Home in HIV Primary Care through PUFF (Patients Unable to Follow-up Found)


Here, we describe our patient-centered medical home (PCMH) quality improvement retention project conducted by a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Ryan White-funded Primary Care HIV clinic. The single urban academic clinic serving 2,776 active HIV positive patients identified 25.8% (716/2,776) patients who had not been retained in care within the prior six months during two separate six-month interval analyses. Multiple modalities including a retention specialist, a secure clinic phone message line, algorithms, flyers, brochures, database, and staff education were built to facilitate re-engagement. The project located 87.7% (628/716) patients who had not been retained. The retention specialist was directly responsible for the return of 16.2% (116/716) patients. Results from the project demonstrated that a formalized approach is a necessary component to effective retention efforts. We believe that this work will provide a strategic framework for the development of randomized control trials to formally evaluate an HIV retention intervention.