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Evaluation - Clinical Feedback

The outcomes of contact tracing can be assessed by health care providers at the individual patient level.

Index patients diagnosed with an STI may attend for a test of cure or repeat test and this is an ideal time to confirm that patient referral has occurred. If the index patient reports they have not yet notified contacts, the health care provider may wish to offer further support to the patient, including further counselling or provider referral. The patient may be able to provide details of identified contacts’ testing, results and treatment; however, lack of knowledge of outcomes does not necessarily mean contacts have not been appropriately informed. When provider referral is used, the health care provider is usually in a better position to confirm that contacts have been notified.

When the contact is reported as attending elsewhere, the initial health care provider is not entitled to further information about the contact without the contact’s permission. Confirming that contacts have been appropriately assessed may be facilitated by the contact attending the same agency, although index patients are not entitled to information about their sexual partners.

If known, details of identified contacts’ testing, results and treatment, should be recorded in the index patient's record, including the source of this information, for example index patient, other agency. Although complaints about the contact tracing process by either index patient or their contacts are rare, health care providers need to be alert and responsive to these.