Document Type



Purpose This project was funded by the Office of the Women's Health, Office of Assistant Secretary for Health, Public Health Service, in collaboration with the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Legislation, Indian Health Service (IHS). The purpose of this study is to explore how the IHS-based outpatient planning methodology dubbed, "Industrial Strength Triage" (hereinafter referred to as Outpatient Visit Planning/Industrial Strength Triage or OPV/IST) and other health care management strategies promote women's health. Methods In this report, the authors review OPV/IST and four programs funded under National Cancer Institute grants: 1) a computerized pap tracking system for urban clinics; 2) an after hours women's health research clinic; 3) a community education program; and 4) a KAB study. The project also involved research of recent studies and IHS Provider articles, telephone conversations with participants and coordinators of various programs, as well as a written survey to 26 different sites. The majority of the survey instruments were sent to rural service units that have initiated OPV/IST within the last two years. Each site received five surveys to be completed by mail. Respondents had the option to request an additional telephone interview. Four of the surveyed sites are urban programs that have very recently initiated computerized pap tracking systems. Only two participants were surveyed from each urban site. Results The authors' survey to the sites that had Industrial Strength Triage training within the past two years indicate these responses: 1) 85% of the respondents believe that since OPV/IST was implemented preventive services are delivered more or much more; 2) 67% of the respondents believe that more appointments are made for cervical or breast cancer screening; 3) 79% think there is improved recognition of health problems beyond the chief complaint; 4) 66.25% of the respondents think OPV/IST helps them better identify patients who need services; and 76.25% think OPV/IST improves patient care. Conclusion The OPV/IST is a comprehensive health care tool and effective intervention for women's health care. It is not a separate program designated specifically for women's health or any other specialty. Rather, it is the foundation of a more complete means of addressing the health status of each individual who presents at an IHS or tribal clinic.

Publication Date



Indian Health Service, Staff Office of Planning, Evaluation and Research, Rockville, MD 20857.