Education and reminder initiative to decrease sexually transmitted infections and increase HPV vaccinations in primary care
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) continue to rise within the United States and within local communities. The adolescent and young adult population accounts for nearly half of the new STI prevalence. All STIs are preventable however only 2 have an available vaccine. Since 2006, HPV vaccinations have been available to prevent the incidence of HPV infections and yet the vaccination rates remain low within the United States. An initial chart review of 50 electronic medical records (EMRs) from patients within that age group revealed these patients had no updated HPV vaccination information on their profiles and were not up to date with the completed HPV vaccination series. A quality improvement project was initiated to improve the STD education and HPV prevalence by providing reminders and administering HPV vaccines and educating patients on each visit about STDs at a local clinic within South Texas. A total of 85 patients between the ages of 13-24 years met the criteria to participate in the project, however 33 were excluded due to decline to participant and/or unable to contact for telephone follow up visit, leaving a total of 52 participants (n=52). The study showed an increase of STI education by approximately 87% after implementing verbal and written education during routine visits in primary care. A total of 47 referrals were discussed with the patients in regards to contacting the health department when opens to receive and completion of the HPV vaccination series. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, patients were also given the health department’s information in efforts for them to contact and follow up with their HPV vaccination administration and completion of series. The number of vaccinations administered and the completed vaccination series among the participants were unable to be obtained due to the inability of administration from COVID-19.