Get In, Get Tested, Get Care: STD Services in Urban Urgent Care Centers
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Get In, Get Tested, Get Care: STD Services in Urban Urgent Care Centers

Filetype[PDF-144.63 KB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Sex Transm Dis
    • Description:

      Recent evidence indicates increased use of urgent care centers (UCCs) for sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing. We sought to learn more about STD services in UCCs in a large metropolitan area.


      Using a modified rapid gap assessment approach, we interviewed staff from 19 UCCs in metro Atlanta, GA. The UCCs were identified using two online search engines. We focused on a 50-mile radius around Atlanta. We then excluded duplicates and closed UCCs, and the ones outside Atlanta’s five contiguous counties. Using a prioritization process, we visited UCCs in or adjacent to areas with mid to high local STD morbidity, or facilities from which STD cases were reported the year prior. We collected checklist-based data on STD testing, treatment, and preventive services, as well as supportive services (eg, substance use/mental health referrals). Checklist data, notes, and open-ended questions were summarized and analyzed descriptively.


      All UCCs (n = 19) reported offering basic to comprehensive STD testing. Although most could treat on-site for chlamydia and gonorrhea, most relied on referrals, or prescriptions and “return to facility” practices to treat syphilis. Sources for STD information/management included the health department/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, online medical sites, and electronic medical record embedded information. Challenges UCCs acknowledged included staying up-to-date with treatment guidance and laboratory reporting requirements, inadequate time for sexual risk reduction counseling, and linking patients with extended care needs (eg, HIV+ case management, supportive services), or following up with patients.


      Urgent cares are STD testing resources. Service availability varies, but opportunities exist to enhance STD services in UCC settings and in communities.

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