Developing quality indicators for sexually transmitted infection services with patient and public involvement

Int J STD AIDS. 2010 May;21(5):329-31. doi: 10.1258/ijsa.2009.009320.


The views of genitourinary (GU) medicine clinic populations in two locations (university teaching hospital and district general hospital) were sought regarding service quality measures. In Plymouth, patients were invited to participate in a qualitative interview. Twenty GU medicine patients (10 men, 10 women; age range 17-63 years) were interviewed and consistent themes emerged. In Taunton, patients were invited to complete a quantitative survey. Twenty patients (10 men, 10 women; age range 17-48 years) were asked to rank the importance of suggested quality measures. The qualitative and quantitative approaches produced different results but were complementary. Service quality indicators were finalized at a multidisciplinary team meeting with three public members. Quality indicators need to be challenging yet achievable and it is difficult to judge precisely where standards should be set. We hope other services may wish audit performance against these proposed local measures. If such data were to be pooled, it would provide valuable evidence for 'SMART' (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based) service quality indicators that are challenging yet achievable for the majority of clinics. This paper demonstrates that it is possible to obtain GU medicine patient views despite problems with confidentiality and 'one-stop' clinic visits.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Patient Participation*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases*
  • United Kingdom
  • Young Adult