Background: Data systems are crucial in the implementation and evaluation of STI/HIV Partner Services (PS) activities. The Center for STI Prevention (CSTIP) within the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is transitioning from STD*MIS to PRISM for management of PS and STI surveillance data. Migrating complex data and preparing field staff and other end users for major procedural changes is an enormous task.
Methods: To prepare for PRISM’s rigorous data quality checks, CSTIP staff enacted a variety of quality assurance (QA) activities to ensure proper implementation and documentation of PS activities. CSTIP staff review and provide Monthly Open Field Record and Open Interview Record reports to local health departments (LHDs) to ensure timely closure of investigations and cases. LHDs complete and submit Monthly Monitoring Reports to CSTIP summarizing PS outcomes by jurisdiction or region. CSTIP staff transitioned from year-end review of staging, morbidity reporting and data completeness, to detailed case review closer to case closure.
Results: More robust QA activities have improved communication and teamwork between CSTIP and LHD staff, fostering discussions that have lead to more consistent adherence to PS guidelines. These QA activities have transitioned staff away from processes that will be restricted in PRISM, ensured protocols that will be required in PRISM are understood and integrated into staff workflow, and increased timeliness of investigations which will be more closely monitored in PRISM. Furthermore, overall data quality has improved significantly, which will improve both data migration from STD*MIS into PRISM and patient outcomes.
Conclusions: Transitioning to more modern data systems requires critical review of data quality and procedures. Although this change can greatly improve PS efforts, it can also be a frustrating and arduous transition for LHD staff. Using regular QA activities in a specific and thoughtful manner can greatly improve the efficiency of such a transition.