Evaluation of a Testing-Only “Express” Visit Option to Enhance Efficiency in a Busy STI Clinic

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Objective:To evaluate the use of a testing-only “express” visit option to enhance efficiency in a busy STI clinic.Methods:At the Denver Metro Health Clinic, clients at low risk for sexually transmitted infections (STI) are offered an express visit comprised of a urine test for Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) as well as optional syphilis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing, but no physical examination. Higher risk clients (STI-related symptoms, contact to STI, men having sex with men, injection drug use, exchange of sex for money or drugs) are offered a comprehensive visit that includes a physical examination. The triage system was evaluated for the period April 2005–July 2006 by comparing rates of CT, GC, syphilis, and HIV between the 2 visit options.Results:Of 13,447 clients with new visits, 3284 (24.4%) were express visits. When compared with clients with comprehensive visits, express visit clients had lower rates of CT (8.1% vs. 17.2%), GC (0.9% vs. 7.4%), syphilis (0.7% vs. 1.2%), and HIV (0.1% vs. 0.2%). Of 2969 STI cases, only 10.8% were diagnosed among clients with express visits. Express visits resulted in a 39% time saving for men and a 56% for women. With the possible exception of asymptomatic urethritis among men, underdiagnosis of STI beyond CT, GC, syphilis, and HIV among express visit clients appeared to be low.Conclusion:The triage system at DMHC effectively selects clients at highest risk for STI and increases clinic efficiency.

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