Increasing Chlamydia Testing Rates via Targeted Outreach

PRiMER. 2019 Jan 1:3:17. doi: 10.22454/PRiMER.2019.669190. eCollection 2019.


Background and objectives: Chlamydia trachomatis is the most prevalent bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. Annual chlamydia screening of asymptomatic, sexually active women age 16 to 24 years and in older women who are at increased risk for infection is recommended. This study built on prior work in which our university-based family medicine clinic implemented quality improvement (QI) interventions in 2016 and 2017 to increase our chlamydia screening rate. Our primary aim in the current study was to increase the screening rate by 10%. Our secondary aim was to determine the number of patient contacts that yielded maximum test rates.

Methods: For the most recent QI cycle, we conducted a prospective cohort study from December 2017 through March 2018. Using the FOCUS-PDSA model, a resident-led, interdisciplinary QI team developed the aims and implemented an intervention to streamline patient outreach. We also retrospectively analyzed data from the previous QI cycle to determine the number of tests obtained after each patient contact.

Results: Chlamydia testing increased from 54% to 56.3% between December 2017 and March 2018. The majority of tests were completed by four patient contacts; additional contacts yielded few additional tests.

Conclusions: Persistent outreach increases chlamydia screening rates. This QI project could be replicated in other clinical settings to improve the screening of chlamydia or other diseases.