Evaluation of miLINC to shorten time to treatment for rifampicin-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis
SETTING: Three clinical locations in a large, peri-urban district in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the acceptability, feasibility and impact of the miLINC mobile health applications as a solution to reducing the time from presentation to treatment initiation of rifampicin-resistant (RR) TB patients.
METHODS: We used a prospective, observational quality improvement evaluation of miLINC's impact among newly diagnosed patients with RR-TB.
RESULTS: A convenience sample comprising details of 6341 patients with presumptive TB were entered into miLINC. Of the 631 TB-positive sputum specimens, 41 (6.5%) were found to be RR-TB. The mean time from clinical presentation to RR-TB treatment initiation was 3 days, 21 h, 17 min.
CONCLUSION: This is the first study to suggest that the time from presentation to diagnosis and to treatment initiation for patients with RR-TB can be significantly improved using an integrated approach combining technology with appropriate human resources.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: REACH Initiative, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD, Department of Community Public Health, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD 2: Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education, Baltimore, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA 3: National Health Laboratory Service, National Priority Programs Unit, Johannesburg 4: South African National Department of Health, Pretoria 5: National Health Laboratory Service, National Priority Programs Unit, Johannesburg, University of the Witwatersrand, School of Clinical Medicine, Johannesburg, South Africa
Publication date: September 1, 2019
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