Free Content Use of a computerized tuberculosis register for automated generation of case finding, sputum conversion, and treatment outcome reports

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Abstract:

SETTING: Tuberculosis (TB) rates in southern Africa have increased dramatically in recent years. Provision of accurate data for surveillance, program management, and supervision is increasingly essential.

OBJECTIVE: To develop software that would provide more efficient collection, compilation, and analysis of TB data on an ongoing basis.

DESIGN: The ‘Electronic TB Register’ is a user-friendly, Epi-Info based software program based on the WHO/IUATLD format of recording and reporting. Individual records from the TB registry are entered in a program that provides interactive support. The software provides several patient management and supervision functions, such as lists of defaulters. Finally, it generates standard quarterly and annual reports on case-finding, sputum conversion, and cohort analysis, and provides graphs of trends and maps of TB indicators.

RESULTS: The ‘Electronic TB Register’ software has been successfully implemented in five pilot projects in southern Africa. User acceptance has been high and quality of data has improved, although timeliness remains unchanged. Factors critical for success include a functioning, paper-based system, involvement of staff from the TB program, health information systems, and health facilities, ongoing training, and backup support.

CONCLUSIONS: The ‘Electronic TB Register’ is a potentially powerful tool for surveillance, management, and supervision for countries with well-functioning paper-based recording and reporting systems.

Keywords: computer(ized); electronic; reports; surveillance; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: The BOTUSA Project, Gaborone, Botswana 2: Institut National de Veille Sanitaire, Paris, France 3: The BOTUSA Project, Gaborone, Botswana and Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA 4: National Tuberculosis Programme, Gaborone, Botswana 5: Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA and South African National TB Control Program, Pretoria, South Africa 6: Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2002

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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