Background: Management of patients’ sex partners is a critical element of sexually transmitted disease (STD) control. Expedited partner therapy (EPT), a practice in which patients deliver medication or a prescription directly to their partners, is one option for partner management. As of 2009, New York State law specifically allows EPT for chlamydial infection. Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in New York City (NYC) care for patients at risk for STDs. We describe the policies and practices surrounding EPT and other STD management in NYC FQHCs.
Methods: In 2012, we surveyed medical directors at all NYC FQHC parent entities and clinicians at a sample of their corresponding clinical sites about written policies and actual practices regarding EPT for chlamydial infection and other STD management.
Results: Twenty-two entities (22/29; 76%) and 51 sites (51/72; 70%) responded to the survey. More than half of entities have a written policy permitting EPT, and 80% of sites provide EPT. Most entity policies allow EPT for, and most sites provide EPT to, adolescents and adults with both opposite-sex and/or same-sex partners. Most sites use electronic health records and provide EPT by prescriptions, and one third of sites do not provide educational materials with EPT.
Conclusions: Our results indicate widespread EPT provision by NYC FQHCs; however, areas for improvement exist, specifically in following guidelines that recommend providing educational materials with EPT and do not recommend EPT for men with male partners. The use of prescriptions for EPT and electronic health records were identified as potential barriers to EPT provision.