Background: Chlamydia screening is a high-value, but underutilized clinical preventive service. We created a short guide to help healthcare providers better understand the importance of chlamydia screening, update knowledge, and suggest practices that could help increase screening rates.
Objectives: Effectively provide accurate, up-to-date information on chlamydia, screening, and treatment that busy healthcare providers will read and use.
Methods: Conduct literature review to identify barriers that impede delivery of chlamydia screening services to sexually active young women. Conduct secondary research to identify ways of improving screening services. As healthcare providers often have little time, it was critical the material be presented visually, as well as written succinctly. A skilled graphic designer and illustrator were used for this purpose. The material was then pre-tested with three primary care provider groups. The findings helped us to refine the messages to ensure accuracy, credibility, and ease-of-use for potential users.
Results: The literature review yielded barriers to screening that ranged from healthcare providersí perceptions to the structure and financing of the healthcare system. The focus groups highlighted differences in knowledge levels and practice patterns between pediatricians and gynecologists, as well as detailed comments on specific message points. The resulting guide, Why Screen for Chlamydia? An Implementation Guide for Healthcare Providers has been well received by medical specialty groups and health plans reached to date. Use of the guide in a medical detailing context is beginning.
Conclusions: Key points which can help influence delivery of screening services can be successfully synthesized into a brief document that balances the need for information with the limited time practicing healthcare providers have available to read.
Implications for Programs, Policy, and/or Research: Evaluation of this guide could yield important additional information and systematic work is still needed to address health systems barriers to chlamydia screening.