Background: Alaska has consistently had one of the highest rates of Chlamydia (CT) infection in the country and in 2010 had the 2nd highest rate of gonococcal (GC) infections. With a public health system that includes 24 health centers, covering an area of over 650,000 sq. miles, the task of reducing morbidity associated with these two STI’s is one of the State’s top priorities. In March of 2012 the Section of Public Health Nursing undertook measures to implement and monitor a Patient Delivered Partner Therapy program (PDPT).
Methods: A workgroup followed a formal results and performance accountability decision making process to develop a PDPT program. The program design was driven by answering interlocking questions: How much did we do? How well did we do it? Is anyone better off? In October of 2012 the program was piloted at 4 health centers and implemented at the remaining 20 public health centers in March of 2013. Staff members were trained via online modules that included a pre and post test in addition to a satisfaction survey. Standardized charting was developed to track utilization by health center and by provider, reinfection rates, medication delivery to partner(s) and client satisfaction.
Results: Online training was provided to 100 nurses with 64% reporting they were competent in delivering PDPT immediately after the training. Preliminary performance measures indicate that 55 of the 67 eligible clients were given medication, 21 delivered the partner doses all stating they received adequate instruction and would use the method again.
Conclusions: An effective system was created that will allow continual monitoring and evaluation of the PDPT program in order to support an ecological approach to decrease the rates of CT/GC in Alaska. Monitoring reveals a need for additional staff training and education as we continue to move through the cycle of change.