Background: The CDC currently recommends chlamydia (CT) screening for all sexually active women aged <26 years. A primary goal established by the Region VIII IPP is to support health care professionals in preventing STD-related infertility by promoting best practices related to CT screening.
Objectives: To determine the effectiveness of a targeted communication tool in increasing appropriate CT screening among private providers.
Methods: A tri-fold reference card was developed with information related to CT screening criteria, testing and treatment. Based on current volume of CT testing, 13 provider sites (representing 75 providers) in Region VIII were identified for a pilot distribution of the card. Each pilot site received the card, along with the National Chlamydia Coalition’s Why Screen for Chlamydia? publication. Subsequent surveys were conducted to obtain information about perceived barriers of CT screening efforts and feedback on improving the implementation on a larger scale.
Results: 17 out of 75 (23%) survey responses were received. Of responses received, more than half reported the reference card as useful (75%), informative (91%), easy to understand (100%), and likely to improve patient care (55%). Most commonly, the card was used for patient education. However, only 37% of providers reported the card as likely to improve CT screening rates due to the difficulty in discussing CT testing with patients.
Conclusions: A reference card focused on CT screening and testing can be useful and informative, but additional strategies are needed to increase appropriate CT screening among private providers.
Implications for Programs, Policy, and/or Research:
A full scale project targeting all private providers in the region would benefit from lessons learned from the pilot and could then be evaluated for effectiveness using the CT screening rates available through annual HEDIS data.