Background: Most health departments cannot provide partner services (PS) to all persons with gonorrhea or chlamydial infection.
Objectives: To evaluate a statewide system that uses case-report forms to triage persons to receive PS.
Methods: A new Washington State case report form required clinicians to choose one of the following partner notification (PN) plans: 1) health department to provide PS (HDPS); 2) clinician to assure partner treatment (clinician PN); 3) all partners already treated. The form recommended that clinicians choose HDPS if patients met any of the following criteria: >1 sex partner prior 60 days; ≥1 partner that patient does not plan to have sex with again; man who has sex with men; patient refuses to notify partner. We interviewed randomly selected cases, and used GEE to compare PN outcomes among opposite sex partners based on the case report PN plan.
Results: A total of 5610 (20%) of 28,732 cases were randomly selected, of whom 3266 (58%) were interviewed. Clinicians indicated a PN plan on 87% of case reports, and selected HDPS, clinician PN and all partners treated on 55%, 21%, and 24%, respectively. At time of initial interview, partners of cases referred for HDPS were less likely to have been notified (74% vs. 90%), treated (39% vs. 73%), or to have received patient-delivered partner therapy (PDPT) prescribed by the case’s diagnosing provider (10% vs. 54%) than partners of cases who were not referred for HDPS. Partners of cases referred for HDPS were more likely to receive PDPT from Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) (24% vs. 5%) and to be notified by DIS (18% vs. 8%). (All p-values <0.0001)
Conclusions: Case-report based triage can successfully direct PS to the persons most likely to benefit from the intervention.
Implications for Programs, Policy, and/or Research: Widespread adoption of this approach to targeting PS could improve program efficiency.