Objectives: To measure the quality of the clinical Genitourinary (G-U) Medicine and Sexually Transmitted Infection (GUM/STI) management process at a primary care polyclinic and establish a baseline for future monitoring and evaluation.
Methods: This was a prospective cohort study on 220 data abstracted clinical notes randomly selected and stratified by gender, age and first point of contact from 2131 GU/STI patients of the GUM/STI clinic seen from 2003–5. Data were also obtained by tele-interview of a subset of 27 individuals. Measurements were incidence (95% CI) as proportions of successful level of activity and outcome indicators for diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
Results: Among 220 patients, the incidence (95% CI) of accurate clinical diagnosis and treatment was 40.5% (33%, 46%) before laboratory results boosted it to 96% (93%, 99%). Successful prognosis at 1st, 2nd and 3rd follow-up was 23.2%, 56.6% and 86.2%. The risk at follow-up for 1, 2 and >2 GU/STI episodes was 28.9%, 45.8% and 25.3%. Follow-up of partners was low, 4.7%. Adequate health promotion and preventive services were reported in 86.5% (78%, 88%) of 220 patients’ records and by 84.5% (71%, 98%) of 26 who were tele-interviewed.
In 88.5% (76%, 100%) of those (27) tele-interviewed, there was satisfaction with the service, but 73.8% (56%, 90%) would have preferred appointments and 29.6% (12%, 47%) preferred extended hours. Per capita ideal cost of medication could have been BB$6.30 (± 1.56) instead of actual BB$13.05 (± 1.84); (BB$2 = US$1).
Conclusions: GU/STI quality performance improvement in Barbados requires rapid laboratory diagnosis, standardized data formats with prompt expedited partner notification and treatment appointments and use of recommended algorithm that can half the cost of medication. Genitourinary medicine should be strategized instead of STI to better encapsulate the spectrum diversity of presentations and points of service.