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Burnett S.M.,Accordia Global Health Foundation | Burnett S.M.,University of Antwerp | Mbonye M.K.,University Institute of Health Sciences | Martin R.,University of Washington | And 7 more authors.
American Journal of Clinical Pathology | Year: 2016

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of on-site support in improving human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) rapid testing, tuberculosis (TB) sputum microscopy, and malaria microscopy among laboratory staff in a low-resource setting. Methods: This cluster randomized trial was conducted at 36 health facilities in Uganda. From April to December 2010, laboratory staff at 18 facilities participated in monthly on-site visits, and 18 served as control facilities. After intervention, 128 laboratory staff were observed performing 587 laboratory tests across three diseases: HIV rapid testing, TB sputum microscopy, and malaria microscopy. Outcomes were the proportion of laboratory procedures correctly completed for the three laboratory tests. Results: Laboratory staff in the intervention arm performed significantly better than the control arm in correctly completing laboratory procedures for all three laboratory tests, with an adjusted relative risk (95% confidence interval) of 1.18 (1.10-1.26) for HIV rapid testing, 1.29 (1.21-1.40) for TB sputum microscopy, and 1.19 (1.11-1.27) for malaria microscopy. Conclusions: On-site support significantly improved laboratory practices in conducting HIV rapid testing, TB sputum microscopy, and malaria microscopy. It could be an effective method for improving laboratory practice, without taking limited laboratory staff away from health facilities for training. © 2016 American Society for Clinical Pathology, 2016. All rights reserved.

Namagembe A.,Infectious Diseases Institute | Ssekabira U.,Infectious Diseases Institute | Weaver M.R.,University of Washington | Blum N.,Accordia Global Health Foundation | And 8 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2012

Background: Deployment of highly effective artemisinin-based combination therapy for treating uncomplicated malaria calls for better targeting of malaria treatment to improve case management and minimize drug pressure for selecting resistant parasites. The Integrated Management of Malaria curriculum was developed to train multi-disciplinary teams of clinical, laboratory and health information assistants. Methods. Evaluation of training was conducted in nine health facilities that were Uganda Malaria Surveillance Programme (UMSP) sites. From December 2006 to June 2007, 194 health professionals attended a six-day course. One-hundred and one of 118 (86%) clinicians were observed during patient encounters by expert clinicians at baseline and during three follow-up visits approximately six weeks, 12 weeks and one year after the course. Experts used a standardized tool for children less than five years of age and similar tool for patients five or more years of age. Seventeen of 30 laboratory professionals (57%) were assessed for preparation of malaria blood smears and ability to interpret smear results of 30 quality control slides. Results: Percentage of patients at baseline and first follow-up, respectively, with proper history-taking was 21% and 43%, thorough physical examination 18% and 56%, correct diagnosis 51% and 98%, treatment in compliance with national policy 42% and 86%, and appropriate patient education 17% and 83%. In estimates that adjusted for individual effects and a matched sample, relative risks were 1.86 (95% CI: 1.20,2.88) for history-taking, 2.66 (95%CI: 1.60,4.41) for physical examination, 1.77 (95%CI: 1.41,2.23) for diagnosis, 1.96 (95%CI: 1.46,2.63) for treatment, and 4.47 (95%CI: 2.68,7.46) for patient education. Results were similar for subsequent follow-up and in sub-samples stratified by patient age. Quality of malaria blood smear preparation improved from 21.6% at baseline to 67.3% at first follow-up (p < 0.008); sensitivity of interpretation of quality control slides increased from 48.6% to 70.6% (p < 0.199) and specificity increased from 72.1% to 77.2% (p < 0.736). Results were similar for subsequent follow-up, with the exception of a significant increase in specificity (94.2%, p < 0.036) at one year. Conclusion: A multi-disciplinary team training resulted in statistically significant improvements in clinical and laboratory skills. As a joint programme, the effects cannot be distinguished from UMSP activities, but lend support to long-term, on-going capacity-building and surveillance interventions. © 2012 Namagembe et al; BioMed Central Ltd.

Ledikwe J.H.,University of Washington | Ledikwe J.H.,Botswana International Training and Education Center for Health chnology | Reason L.L.,University of Washington | Burnett S.M.,Botswana International Training and Education Center for Health chnology | And 13 more authors.
Human Resources for Health | Year: 2013

Background: To address the shortage of health information personnel within Botswana, an innovative human resources approach was taken. University graduates without training or experience in health information or health sciences were hired and provided with on-the-job training and mentoring to create a new cadre of health worker: the district Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Officer. This article describes the early outcomes, achievements, and challenges from this initiative.Methods: Data were collected from the district M&E Officers over a 2-year period and included a skills assessment at baseline and 12 months, pre- and post-training tests, interviews during stakeholder site visits, a survey of achievements, focus group discussions, and an attrition assessment.Results: An average of 2.7 mentoring visits were conducted for M&E Officers in each district. There were five training sessions over 18 months. Knowledge scores significantly increased (p < 0.05) during the three trainings in which pre/post tests were administered. Over 1 year, there were significant improvements (p < 0.05) in self-rated skills related to computer literacy, checking data validity, implementing data quality procedures, using data to support program planning, proposing indicators, and writing M&E reports. Out of the 34 district M&E Officers interviewed during site visits, most were conducting facility visits to review data (27/34; 79%), comparing data sets over time (31/34; 91%), backing up data (32/34; 94%), and analyzing data (32/34; 94%). Common challenges included late facility reports (28/34; 82%), lack of transportation (22/34; 65%), inaccurate facility reports (10/34; 29%), and colleagues' misunderstanding of M&E (10/34; 29%). Six posts were vacated in the first year (6/51; 12%). A total of 49 Officers completed the achievements survey; of these, common accomplishments related to improvements in data management (35/49; 71%), data quality (31/49; 63%), data use (29/49; 59%), and capacity development (26/49; 53%).Conclusions: The development of a cadre of district M&E Officers has contributed positively to the health information system in Botswana. In the absence of tertiary training related to health information, on-the-job training and mentoring of university graduates can be an effective approach for developing a new professional cadre of M&E expertise and for strengthening capacity within a national health system. © 2013 Ledikwe et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Naikoba S.,Makerere University | Colebunders R.,University of Antwerp | van Geertruyden J.-P.,University of Antwerp | Willis K.S.,Accordia Global Health Foundation | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of Care Pathways | Year: 2012

Training mid-level practitioners (MLP), usually nurses or clinical officers, to perform tasks conventionally assigned to doctors increases access to care and addresses health worker shortages in resource-constrained countries. In the face of the shortcomings of traditional training approaches, identification of effective training methods that create and maintain highly competent MLP is a priority. A cluster randomized trial with pre-post components was conducted between March and December 2010 at 36 subdistrict health centres in Uganda. Eighteen out of the 36 health centres were randomized to the intervention (Arm A) to receive sequenced integrated infectious diseases training for two MLPs followed by integrated infectious diseases on-site support for the health worker teams once a month for nine months and 18 were randomized to receive only sequenced training for two MLPs but no on-site support (Arm B). Outcomes measured included individual MLP knowledge and competence scores from written and observed clinical assessments; health facility performance against indicators of care for malaria, tuberculosis and HIV as determined from patient care records; and mortality among children under five years during the project period measured using survey methods. Trial Registration: Clinical Trials-NIH NCT01190540.

Means A.R.,University of Washington | Weaver M.R.,University of Washington | Burnett S.M.,Accordia Global Health Foundation | Burnett S.M.,University of Antwerp | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Background: In many rural areas of Uganda, febrile patients presenting to health facilities are prescribed both antimalarials and antibiotics, contributing to the overuse of antibiotics. We identified the prevalence and correlates of inappropriate antibiotic management of patients with confirmed malaria. Methods: We utilized individual outpatient data from 36 health centers from January to September 2011. We identified patients who were prescribed antibiotics without an appropriate clinical indication, as well as patients who were not prescribed antibiotics when treatment was clinically indicated. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to identify clinical and operational factors associated with inappropriate case management. Findings: Of the 45,591 patients with parasitological diagnosis of malaria, 40,870 (90%) did not have a clinical indication for antibiotic treatment. Within this group, 17,152 (42%) were inappropriately prescribed antibiotics. The odds of inappropriate prescribing were higher if the patient was less than five years old (aOR 1.96, 95% CI 1.75-2.19) and if the health provider had the fewest years of training (aOR 1.86, 95% CI 1.05-3.29). The odds of inappropriate prescribing were lower if patients had emergency triage status (aOR 0.75, 95% CI 0.59-0.96) or were HIV positive (aOR 0.31, 95% CI 0.20-0.45). Of the 4,721 (10%) patients with clinical indications for antibiotic treatment, 521 (11%) were inappropriately not prescribed antibiotics. Clinical officers were less likely than medical officers to inappropriately withhold antibiotics (aOR 0.54, 95% CI 0.29-0.98). Conclusion: Over 40% of the antibiotic treatment in malaria positive patients is prescribed despite a lack of documented clinical indication. In addition, over 10% of patients with malaria and a clinical indication for antibiotics do not receive them. These findings should inform facility-level trainings and interventions to optimize patient care and slow trends of rising antibiotic resistance. © 2014 Means et al.

PubMed | University of Washington, Accordia Global Health Foundation, Bethesda University, Johns Hopkins University and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Classroom-based learning is often insufficient to ensure high quality care and application of health care guidelines. Educational outreach is garnering attention as a supplemental method to enhance health care worker capacity, yet there is little information about the timing and duration required to improve facility performance. We sought to evaluate the effects of an infectious disease training program followed by either immediate or delayed on-site support (OSS), an educational outreach approach, on nine facility performance indicators for emergency triage, assessment, and treatment; malaria; and pneumonia. We also compared the effects of nine monthly OSS visits to extended OSS, with three additional visits over six months.This study was conducted at 36 health facilities in Uganda, covering 1,275,960 outpatient visits over 23 months. From April 2010 to December 2010, 36 sites received infectious disease training; 18 randomly selected sites in arm A received nine monthly OSS visits (immediate OSS) and 18 sites in arm B did not. From March 2011 to September 2011, arm A sites received three additional visits every two months (extended OSS), while the arm B sites received eight monthly OSS visits (delayed OSS). We compared the combined effect of training and delayed OSS to training followed by immediate OSS to determine the effect of delaying OSS implementation by nine months. We also compared facility performance in arm A during the extended OSS to immediate OSS to examine the effect of additional, less frequent OSS.Delayed OSS, when combined with training, was associated with significant pre/post improvements in four indicators: outpatients triaged (44% vs. 87%, aRR = 1.54, 99% CI = 1.11, 2.15); emergency and priority patients admitted, detained, or referred (16% vs. 31%, aRR = 1.74, 99% CI = 1.10, 2.75); patients with a negative malaria test result prescribed an antimalarial (53% vs. 34%, aRR = 0.67, 99% CI = 0.55, 0.82); and pneumonia suspects assessed for pneumonia (6% vs. 27%, aRR = 2.97, 99% CI = 1.44, 6.17). Differences between the delayed OSS and immediate OSS arms were not statistically significant for any of the nine indicators (all adjusted relative RR (aRRR) between 0.76-1.44, all p>0.06). Extended OSS was associated with significant improvement in two indicators (outpatients triaged: aRR = 1.09, 99% CI = 1.01; emergency and priority patients admitted, detained, or referred: aRR = 1.22, 99% CI = 1.01, 1.38) and decline in one (pneumonia suspects assessed for pneumonia: aRR: 0.93; 99% CI = 0.88, 0.98).Educational outreach held up to nine months after training had similar effects on facility performance as educational outreach started within one month post-training. Six months of bi-monthly educational outreach maintained facility performance gains, but incremental improvements were heterogeneous.

Weaver M.R.,University of Washington | Crozier I.,Accordia Global Health Foundation | Eleku S.,Mengo Hospital | Makanga G.,Mulago National Referral Hospital | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Trial Design: Best practices for training mid-level practitioners (MLPs) to improve global health-services are not well-characterized. Two hypotheses were: 1) Integrated Management of Infectious Disease (IMID) training would improve clinical competence as tested with a single arm, pre-post design, and 2) on-site support (OSS) would yield additional improvements as tested with a cluster-randomized trial. Methods: Thirty-six Ugandan health facilities (randomized 1:1 to parallel OSS and control arms) enrolled two MLPs each. All MLPs participated in IMID (3-week core course, two 1-week boost sessions, distance learning). After the 3-week course, OSS-arm trainees participated in monthly OSS. Twelve written case scenarios tested clinical competencies in HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other infectious diseases. Each participant completed different randomly-assigned blocks of four scenarios before IMID (t0), after 3-week course (t1), and after second boost course (t2, 24 weeks after t1). Scoring guides were harmonized with IMID content and Ugandan national policy. Score analyses used a linear mixed-effects model. The primary outcome measure was longitudinal change in scenario scores. Results: Scores were available for 856 scenarios. Mean correct scores at t0, t1, and t2 were 39.3%, 49.1%, and 49.6%, respectively. Mean score increases (95% CI, p-value) for t0-t1 (pre-post period) and t1-t2 (parallel-arm period) were 12.1 ((9.6, 14.6), p<0.001) and -0.6 ((-3.1, +1.9), p = 0.647) percent for OSS arm and 7.5 ((5.0, 10.0), p<0.001) and 1.6 ((-1.0, +4.1), p = 0.225) for control arm. The estimated mean difference in t1 to t2 score change, comparing arm A (participated in OSS) vs. arm B was -2.2 ((-5.8, +1.4), p = 0.237). From t0-t2, mean scores increased for all 12 scenarios. Conclusions: Clinical competence increased significantly after a 3-week core course; improvement persisted for 24 weeks. No additional impact of OSS was observed. Data on clinical practice, facility-level performance and health outcomes will complete assessment of overall impact of IMID and OSS. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov >

Mbonye M.K.,Makerere University | Burnett S.M.,Accordia Global Health Foundation | Burua A.,Management science for Health | Colebunders R.,University of Antwerp | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Background: The Integrated Infectious Diseases Capacity Building Evaluation (IDCAP) designed two interventions: Integrated Management of Infectious Disease (IMID) training program and On-Site Support (OSS). We evaluated their effects on 23 facility performance indicators, including malaria case management. Methodology: IMID, a three-week training with two follow-up booster courses, was for two mid- level practitioners, primarily clinical officers and registered nurses, from 36 primary care facilities. OSS was two days of training and continuous quality improvement activities for nine months at 18 facilities, to which all health workers were invited to participate. Facilities were randomized as clusters 1:1 to parallel OSS ''arm A'' or control ''arm B''. Outpatient data on four malaria case management indicators were collected for 14 months. Analysis compared changes before and during the interventions within arms (relative risk = RR). The effect of OSS was measured with the difference in changes across arms (ratio of RR = RRR). Findings: The proportion of patients with suspected malaria for whom a diagnostic test result for malaria was recorded decreased in arm B (adjusted RR (aRR) = 0.97; 99%CI: 0.82,1.14) during IMID, but increased 25% in arm A (aRR = 1.25; 99%CI:0.94, 1.65) during IMID and OSS relative to baseline; (aRRR = 1.28; 99%CI:0.93, 1.78). The estimated proportion of patients that received an appropriate antimalarial among those prescribed any antimalarial increased in arm B (aRR = 1.09; 99%CI: 0.87, 1.36) and arm A (aRR = 1.50; 99%CI: 1.04, 2.17); (aRRR = 1.38; 99%CI: 0.89, 2.13). The proportion of patients with a negative diagnostic test result for malaria prescribed an antimalarial decreased in arm B (aRR = 0.96; 99%CI: 0.84, 1.10) and arm A (aRR = 0.67; 99%CI: 0.46, 0.97); (aRRR = 0.70; 99%CI: 0.48, 1.00). The proportion of patients with a positive diagnostic test result for malaria prescribed an antibiotic did not change significantly in either arm. Interpretation: The combination of IMID and OSS was associated with statistically significant improvements in malaria case management. © 2014 Mbonye et al.

PubMed | University of Washington, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Accordia Global Health Foundation, Bethesda University and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2014

The effects of two interventions, Integrated Management of Infectious Disease (IMID) training program and On-Site Support (OSS), were tested on 23 facility performance indicators for emergency triage assessment and treatment (ETAT), malaria, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and HIV.The trial was implemented in 36 primary care facilities in Uganda. From April 2010, two mid-level practitioners per facility participated in IMID training. Eighteen of 36 facilities were randomly assigned to Arm A, and received OSS in 2010 (nine monthly two-day sessions); 18 facilities assigned to Arm B did not receive OSS in 2010. Data were collected from Nov 2009 to Dec 2010 using a revised Ministry of Health outpatient medical form and nine registers. We analyzed the effect of IMID training alone by measuring changes before and during IMID training in Arm B, the combined effect of IMID training and OSS by measuring changes in Arm A, and the incremental effect of OSS by comparing changes across Arms A and B.IMID training was associated with statistically significant improvement in three indicators: outpatients triaged (adjusted relative risks (aRR)=1.29, 99%CI=1.01,1.64), emergency and priority patients admitted, detained, or referred (aRR=1.59, 99%CI=1.04,2.44), and pneumonia suspects assessed (aRR=2.31, 99%CI=1.50,3.55). IMID training and OSS combined was associated with improvements in six indicators: three ETAT indicators (outpatients triaged (aRR=2.03, 99%CI=1.13,3.64), emergency and priority patients admitted, detained or referred (aRR=3.03, 99%CI=1.40,6.56), and emergency patients receiving at least one appropriate treatment (aRR=1.77, 99%CI=1.10,2.84)); two malaria indicators (malaria cases receiving appropriate antimalarial (aRR=1.50, 99%CI=1.04,2.17), and patients with negative malaria test results prescribed antimalarial (aRR=0.67, 99%CI=0.46,0.97)); and enrollment in HIV care (aRR=1.58, 99%CI=1.32,1.89). OSS was associated with incremental improvement in emergency patients receiving at least one appropriate treatment (adjusted ratio of RR=1.84,99%CI=1.09,3.12).The trial showed that the OSS intervention significantly improved performance in one of 23 facility indicators.

PubMed | Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, University of Washington, Makerere University and Accordia Global Health Foundation
Type: | Journal: BMC pediatrics | Year: 2015

The Integrated Infectious Disease Capacity-Building Evaluation (IDCAP) was designed to test the effects of two interventions, Integrated Management of Infectious Disease (IMID) training and on-site support (OSS), on clinical practice of mid-level practitioners. This article reports the effects of these interventions on clinical practice in management of common childhood illnesses.Two trainees from each of 36 health facilities participated in the IMID training. IMID was a three-week core course, two one-week boost courses, and distance learning over nine months. Eighteen of the 36 health facilities were then randomly assigned to arm A, and participated in OSS, while the other 18 health facilities assigned to arm B did not. Clinical faculty assessed trainee practice on clinical practice of six sets of tasks: patient history, physical examination, laboratory tests, diagnosis, treatment, and patient/caregiver education. The effects of IMID were measured by the post/pre adjusted relative risk (aRR) of appropriate practice in arm B. The incremental effects of OSS were measured by the adjusted ratio of relative risks (aRRR) in arm A compared to arm B. All hypotheses were tested at a 5% level of significance.Patient samples were comparable across arms at baseline and endline. The majority of children were aged under five years; 84% at baseline and 97% at endline. The effects of IMID on patient history (aRR= 1.12; 95% CI = 1.04-1.21) and physical examination (aRR= 1.40; 95% CI = 1.16-1.68) tasks were statistically significant. OSS was associated with incremental improvement in patient history (aRRR= 1.18; 95% CI = 1.06-1.31), and physical examination (aRRR= 1.27; 95% CI = 1.02-1.59) tasks. Improvements in laboratory testing, diagnosis, treatment, and patient/caregiver education were not statistically significant.IMID training was associated with improved patient history taking and physical examination, and OSS further improved these clinical practices. On-site training and continuous quality improvement activities support transfer of learning to practice among mid-level practitioners.

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