Improving STD Reporting Timeliness: Lessons From Eastern Washington
Background: Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and initial cases of herpes simplex II are reportable by WAC 246-101 within 3 working days of a positive diagnosis. Investigating reported cases can interrupt disease transmission, theoretically reducing incidence and prevalence over time. Delayed reporting impedes timely case investigation, encouraging sustained transmission in a community.
Methods: Using Public Health Issue Management System (PHIMS) records, a 6-month baseline reporting an average of 7 days was calculated from January to June 2010 for all reporting clinics. Twenty-seven clinics reporting greater than 7 days were visited or contacted from August to December 2010 in order to improve their timeliness of sexually transmitted disease (STD) reporting from their baseline of 14 days to at least 10 days by June 30, 2011. During in-office meetings or telephone communication, a local health jurisdiction staff member provided each clinic with its reporting statistics, reviewed the current case report form, and facilitated unstructured brainstorming sessions to identify areas of improvement related to reporting.
Key Findings: Most clinics were unaware of their reporting trends, utilized outdated case report forms, and had difficulties locating patients for notification and/or treatment arrangements. Post-intervention results indicate improvements as the overall reporting average of targeted clinics decreased to 9.5 days: 13 of 27 clinics were reporting within the county average, 10 clinics did not meet the 10-day reporting goal, and 4 clinics had no reportable cases in the measurement period. Additionally, this effort achieved a 64% increase in the number of clinics reporting within the county average (42%  vs. 69% ) Conclusions: Targeted interventions with clinics can improve reporting timeliness. Additional efforts must be conducted with compliant clinics to reinforce positive reporting protocol.
Hayes, A. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Improving STD Reporting Timeliness: Lessons From Eastern Washington. Mon, 12/17/2012 - 13:57. Available at https://phqix.org/content/improving-std-reporting-timeliness-lessons-eastern-washington. Accessed June 22, 2021.