Data verification and clean up exercises help improve quality of TB data in eThekwini health facilities

As part of Operation Phuthuma, a 10 Point Plan for Acceleration initiated by the Department of Health (DoH) to improve health service delivery in the country, the eThekwini District DoH embarked on monthly HIV & AIDS, STI and TB (HAST) Programme data clean-up exercises. During February and March 2021, the USAID TB LON-SAFT team collaborated with the district TB Prevention and Control Programme to conduct data verification exercises in health care facilities in eThekwini. The USAID TB LON-SAFT team developed a template for data verifications and it has since been adopted by facilities throughout the entire district.

A total of 18 health care facilities were visited and data verification and clean-up were conducted for both DS and DR-TB data. The process of data clean-up includes comparing data sources such as the TB identification register and TB patient files to data captured in electronic systems (Tier.Net, EDR Web, and Web DHIS). The DS-TB outcome data verified covered the period January to September 2019 and the DS-TB treatment initiation January to December 2020. The DR-TB outcome data covered the periods January to December 2018 for long regimen and January to September 2019 for the short regimen.

Data verification exercises

The Provincial DoH TB Manager Ms. Zanele Radebe, participated in the data verification process and expressed her appreciation of the USAID TB LON-SAFT Programme team in leading the activity. She also said:

“The Programme has greatly contributed towards achieving the objectives of the eThekwini district TB Prevention and Control Programme”.

The outcome of the data verification exercises included the confirmation that all DS- and DR-TB patients initiated on treatment in 2020 have been registered on Tier.Net / EDR Web and DHIS. After quality checking all DS- and DR-TB outcome data, the district’s Loss to Follow-up (LTFU) rate of 16% in Quarter 3 of 2019 was also confirmed. By verifying the co-infected TB patients on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) the files of patients with unknown HIV status or those not on ART were forwarded to the clinical teams to action.

Following the data verification activities, the USAID TB LON-SAFT Programme team organised a data clean-up feedback meeting on the 31st of March 2021, bringing together health care personnel from 11 of the 18 visited facilities. The purpose of the meeting was to allow the facilities to present their TB data before and after the data clean-up, to share best practice and to provide Technical Assistance (TA) to each other.

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