Local health departments (LHDs) are on the frontlines of sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention, testing, and treatment. LHDs offer a multitude of services, including free or low-cost STI/HIV testing and treatment, partner services, and access to condoms, among other things. Additionally, sexual health education, community outreach, and STI/HIV screening events are often organized through LHDs. Health departments also serve as an important resource for healthcare providers by providing education and technical assistance on testing and treatment recommendations. Through the below projects, NACCHO continues to support LHDs in building capacity to address STI rates in their communities.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
NACCHO, with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Division of STD Prevention, initiated a project in October 2018 to support the use of CDC’s Recommendations for Providing Quality STD Clinical Services, which are expected to be publicly available in 2020. The Recommendations augment CDC’s Sexually Transmitted Infection Treatment Guidelines and are intended to be used as a tool to guide sexually transmitted disease clinical practice standards. This project aims to facilitate implementation of the Recommendations by:
- Developing tools and resources to aid in the assessment of clinical services provided by a healthcare setting and guide decision-making regarding additional service provision to address identified gaps
- Providing technical assistance for the use of the tools and resources
ABOUT THE PROJECT
With funding from the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP), NACCHO leads the STI Express Initiative, which is designed to increase the evidence base for express STI clinical visits and support clinics in quality improvement efforts to strengthen, scale-up, and evaluate STI express models. We define STI express services as triage-based STI testing without a full clinical examination. Express services, also known as “fast-tracking,” are often associated with technology and automation and can reduce visit time, decrease time to treatment, and free up provider time; empower use of staffing models that utilize top of license strategies; enable self-collection of swabs; and increase opportunities to implement in diverse settings.
The STI Express Initiative has a number of components, including a Community of Practice with clinics that currently implement or are interested in implementing express STI visits, in-depth assessments with three sites to strengthen operational plans for STI express models, and a Data Collaborative through seven STI clinical sites will evaluate their express models across common variables; data from this project is forthcoming.
Report: Establishment, Scale Up, & Evaluation of Express Services
NACCHO recently engaged Cardea to conduct in-depth assessments of three jurisdictions considering or planning to establish STI express services. NACCHO and Cardea visited Jackson, MS; Providence, RI; and San Francisco, CA to develop a better understanding of the role that STI express services can play in each jurisdiction and to explore clinical operations and resource requirements related to express visits. As a result of the in-depth assessments, Cardea developed a report with recommendations and considerations for each site, and for express models more generally. The executive summary is now available.
To learn more, view the STI Express Initiative issue brief and check out our recent presentation from the 2019 STD Engage Conference. For questions or support, please contact Samantha Ritter, Senior Program Analyst for HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-756-0162.
NACCHO is working with the CDC Division of STD Prevention, the National Coalition of STD Directors, and the Public Health Accreditation Board to develop a national certification program for disease intervention specialists (DIS). The effort aims to strengthen and formalize the role of DIS, expand the recognition of DIS and the profession, ensure adequate training, and improve service provision and health outcomes. Learn more about this project here and by reading the article titled “Strengthening Public Health at Its Core: A Focus on Disease Intervention Specialist” in the Winter 2015 NACCHO Exchange.