: HPV is the most common cause of sexually-transmitted infections the world over. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of a healthcare quality improvement strategy designed to increase the rate of vaccination against HPV in women diagnosed with cervical lesions graded as CIN2 or higher (CIN2+) during routine screening. The Veneto Regional Health Service developed a 22-item questionnaire to measure the gap between ideal procedure and real practice regarding the offer of vaccination against HPV for women undergoing routine cervical screening. The questionnaire was administered to nine expert doctors, one at each of the region's Local Health Units (LHUs). An additional specific assessment concerned the quality of the related web pages available on the LHU websites. Strategies to close the gap between ideal procedure and real practice were decided collegially, and a checklist to support good practices was developed and shared with operators at the LHUs. Changes in practice were measured using data relating to women diagnosed with CIN2+ lesions extracted from the regional oncological screening database before and after the publication of a Regional Procedure on the topic. The LHUs differed considerably in how they managed each step, in terms of training for healthcare personnel, organization and assessment of the pathway from cervical screening to HPV vaccination, and in dedicated website communication. After implementing the quality improvement strategy, the proportion of women given a first dose of HPV vaccine within 3 months of being diagnosed with CIN2+ lesions at 1st-level screening rose to 50% (compared with 30.85% beforehand), and the median time elapsing between a diagnosis of CIN2+ lesion and a first dose of HPV vaccine dropped from 158 to 90 days. These findings underscore the importance of providing training to promote vaccination for general practitioners and other clinicians. The study also confirms the need for more efforts in communication to ensure that any citizen has the opportunity to access preventive healthcare.
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