BACKGROUND: Emergency departments (EDs) are the primary source of healthcare for many patients diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Expedited partner therapy (EPT), treating the partner of patients with STIs, is an evidence-based practice for patients who might not otherwise seek care. Little is known about the use of EPT in the ED. In a national survey, we describe ED medical directors’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices of EPT.
METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of medical directors from academic EDs was conducted from July through September 2020 using the Academy of Academic Administrators of Emergency Medicine (AAAEM) Benchmarking Group. Primary outcomes were EPT awareness, support, and use. The survey also examined barriers and facilitators.
RESULTS: Forty-eight of 70 (69%) medical directors responded. 73% were aware of EPT, but fewer knew how to prescribe it (38%), and only 19% of EDs had implemented EPT. 79% supported EPT and were more likely to if they were aware of EPT (89% vs. 54%) p = 0.01. Of non-implementers, 41% thought EPT was feasible, and 56% thought departmental support would be likely. ED directors were most concerned about legal liability, but a large proportion (44%) viewed preventing sequelae of untreated STIs as “extremely important.”
CONCLUSION: ED medical directors expressed strong support for EPT and reasonable levels of feasibility for implementation but low utilization. Our findings highlight the need to identify mechanisms for EPT implementation in EDs.
A national study of expedited partner therapy use in emergency departments: A survey of medical director knowledge, attitudes and practices
Sexually Transmitted Diseases [Epub 2023 Oct 23]. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001880.