Electronic health information technology as a tool for improving quality of care and health outcomes for HIV/AIDS patients.
ABSTRACT This paper presents research on the interplay of health information technology (HIT), quality improvement and progression of health status. The purpose of the research was to determine whether electronic exchange of health information impacts quality of care and, by extension, health outcomes of patients with HIV/AIDS. The research was supported as a demonstration project under the Information Technology Networks of Care Initiative sponsored by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, HIV/AIDS Bureau, Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS). The City of Paterson, New Jersey, Department of Health and Human Services administered the project as the grant recipient, secured and managed through the City of Paterson's Ryan White Part A Program of Bergen and Passaic Counties.
We implemented a web-based health information support system, e2, to facilitate rigorous quality improvement activities associated with care and treatment of HIV/AIDS patients. We used e2 to monitor patient care in the clinic setting. We observed five quality and two health status indicators relating to the care of 263 HIV/AIDS medical patients at three HIV/AIDS medical clinics from 2008 to 2010. The quality indicators conformed to HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) Groups 1 and 2 definitions of two or more CD4 T-cell counts performed in the measurement year, AIDS patients prescribed HAART, two or more medical visits in the measurement year, PCP prophylaxis administered to AIDS patients with CD4 T-cell counts <200, and adults screened for syphilis within the measurement year. CD4 T-cell count and viral load suppression indicators were used as health status indicators. Frequency analysis and logistic generalized estimating equations were used to assess correlation. We also assessed user satisfaction with e2 as a quality improvement tool using qualitative methods.
Availability of the e2 system was a leading contributing factor in successful quality management activities, leading to improved quality of care and health status of HIV/AIDS patients across all three clinics. Significant improvements were observed in three of the five quality indicators and in both of the two health status indicators.
We conclude that health information technology as a tool for rigorous application of quality improvement methods can positively impact quality of care and health outcomes. We found that health outcomes improved over time when quality improvement methods were initiated and facilitated by a responsive electronic information support system.
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ABSTRACT: Access to pediatric HIV treatment in resource-limited settings has risen significantly. However, little is known about the quality of care that pediatric or adolescent patients receive. The objective of this study is to explore quality of HIV care and treatment in Nigeria and to determine the association between quality of care, loss-to-follow-up and mortality. A retrospective cohort study was conducted including patients ≤18 years of age who initiated ART between November 2002 and December 2011 at 23 sites across 10 states. 1,516 patients were included. A quality score comprised of 6 process indicators was calculated for each patient. More than half of patients (55.5%) were found to have a high quality score, using the median score as the cut-off. Most patients were screened for tuberculosis at entry into care (81.3%), had adherence measurement and counseling at their last visit (88.7% and 89.7% respectively), and were prescribed co-trimoxazole at some point during enrollment in care (98.8%). Thirty-seven percent received a CD4 count in the six months prior to chart review. Mortality within 90 days of ART initiation was 1.9%. A total of 4.2% of patients died during the period of follow-up (mean: 27 months) with 19.0% lost to follow-up. In multivariate regression analyses, weight for age z-score (Adjusted Hazard Ratio (AHR): 0.90; 95% CI: 0.85, 0.95) and high quality indicator score (compared a low score, AHR: 0.43; 95% CI: 0.26, 0.73) had a protective effect on mortality. Patients with a high quality score were less likely to be lost to follow-up (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR): 0.42; 95% CI: 0.32, 0.56), compared to those with low score. These findings indicate that providing high quality care to children and adolescents living with HIV is important to improve outcomes, including lowering loss to follow-up and decreasing mortality in this age group.PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e100039. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are common and costly, in part because they are asymptomatic and result in serious complications. Primary care clinicians can easily diagnose and effectively treat most STIs. Clinicians should screen patients for STIs based on high-risk behaviors, and consult with local public health officials to adapt national screening guidelines to local epidemiology. Clinical encounters involving STI screening are opportunities to counsel patients on risk behaviors, and vaccinate against human papillomavirus and hepatitis B. Electronic health records and mobile phone apps show promise for improving the clinical care of STIs.Primary care 06/2014; 41(2):215-237. · 0.81 Impact Factor