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Public Health Investigation - Situation Update 4

Public Health Investigation - Situation Update 4

TULSA, OK – [April 2, 2013, 5:22 p.m. CST] – 

 

Testing Clinic 
The Tulsa Health Department’s special testing clinic continued today for former patients of Dr. W. Scott Harrington who may have been exposed to blood borne viruses. As of 4:00 p.m., 216 patients have been screened today for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. Today’s clinic continues until 6:00 p.m.  A cumulative total will be released tomorrow. Approximately 1,200 have been tested since the clinic first opened on Saturday.

Testing will continue weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the North Regional Health and Wellness Center, 5635 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

 

Testing Results
Most people will be notified of their test results within approximately two weeks of testing. Patients who have given the health department permission to mail negative test results to their home will receive their results in the mail. Persons with positive test results will be contacted personally by a health department representative and counseled about information specific to the disease for which the test was positive. The health department will also begin an individual case investigation in an effort to determine when and how the person became infected. Recommendations for testing of a spouse or partner will be made following the outcome of the case investigation.

Persons with positive test results will be referred to their private physician for further evaluation. Treatment referrals and payer source will vary according to each patient’s medical situation and their current health insurance coverage. For persons without a physician or health insurance, a health department professional will provide information regarding other health resources available.

Any positive test results confirmed through private testing by former patients of the W. Scott Harrington dental practice should be reported to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, per Oklahoma’s communicable disease reporting statute. There is no guarantee that persons may obtain test results quicker through private means rather than utilizing the current clinic availability provided at the Tulsa Health Department and other county health departments. Many factors can influence the reporting of a laboratory test.

 

Patient Confidentiality
It is important to note that in order to protect patient confidentiality, neither the Tulsa Health Department nor the Oklahoma State Department of Health will confirm any individual case result, regardless of whether it was obtained through private testing or through the current health department clinic testing process.

As part of their regular Situation Updates on the public health investigation into the W. Scott Harrington dental practice, the Tulsa Health Department and Oklahoma State Department of Health will announce positive case results after thorough individual case investigations have been completed. Thus, there will be a time delay from when individuals learn of their case status, and when the THD and OSDH report any positive cumulative case totals.

 

Public Health 
The current public health investigation of the W. Scott Harrington dental practice demonstrates the value of a strong public health system. While the potential costs for patient notification, clinic testing, laboratory analysis, and follow-up case investigation have not yet been determined, both local and state public health departments consider this type of public health event an example of core public health services at work, and thus will do all that is necessary to protect the public from disease transmission.

 

Patient Information Hotline 
Former patients of Dr. W. Scott Harrington’s dental practice should contact the hotline 918-595-4500 to speak to a public health representative about testing for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. English- and Spanish-speaking public health representatives are available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.

The hotline received 231 phone calls today as of 4 p.m.

We will continue to provide situation updates on our website. 

 

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