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Surveillance Data in Action: Tuberculosis Indicators. Melissa Ehman, MPH Tuberculosis Control Branch (TBCB) Division of Communicable Disease Control Center for Infectious Diseases California Department of Public Health October 15, 2008. Objectives. Review California TB indicators

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Surveillance Data in Action:Tuberculosis Indicators

Melissa Ehman, MPH

Tuberculosis Control Branch (TBCB)

Division of Communicable Disease Control

Center for Infectious Diseases

California Department of Public Health

October 15, 2008

Objectives l.jpg

  • Review California TB indicators

  • Consider indicators relevant to HIV/TB

  • Discuss possible next steps in developing cross-cutting indicators

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TB Indicators Project (TIP)

  • Partnership between TBCB and TB programs of the 16 local health departments (LHDs) with the highest TB morbidity

  • Formal process for using indicators to evaluate and improve program performance

  • Implemented beginning in 2000



Program Liaison


Fiscal Analyst



TB Controller

Program Manager



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How Did We Create Indicators?

  • Defined goal areas

  • Reviewed standards

  • Identified available data sources

  • Developed indicators

  • Assessed indicators according to set criteria:

    • Ethical

    • Useful

    • Representative

    • Understandable

    • Data Accessible

    • Robust (Valid)

    • Reliable

  • Set objectives

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Identification and Reporting

TB Case Rate

Timely Reporting

Complete Reporting

Culture Identification

Completion of Therapy

Recommended Initial Therapy

Timely Treatment

Culture Conversion

Appropriate DOT

Inappropriate SAT

Timely Completion of Therapy

Not Defaulting from Treatment

Contact Investigation

Contact Identification

Contact Evaluation

Contact LTBI Treatment Initiation

Contact LTBI Treatment Completion

Sentinel Events

Pediatric TB Cases

TB Deaths


Program Capacity (self-assessment)

TIP Indicators

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Culture Conversion TIP IndicatorGoal, Indicator, Objective

  • Goal C: Ensure timely completion of appropriate therapy for all persons with tuberculosis

  • Indicator C3: Proportion of sputum culture-positive TB cases with documented conversion to sputum culture-negative within 90 days of initiation of treatment

  • Objective: At least 70% of sputum culture-positive TB cases will have documented conversion to sputum culture-negative within 90 days of initiation of treatment, for cases counted in 2006

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TIP Process

  • Complete Infrastructure Self-Assessment

  • Review indicator data

  • Analyze and plan

    • Verify problem

    • Determine reasons for problem

  • Develop interventions

  • Implement interventions

  • Evaluate and reassess

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    TIP Benefits and Challenges

    • Improvements in many key areas

      • Program performance

      • Staff capacity and communication

      • Data quality

      • TB patient care processes

  • Challenges

    • Limitations with using TIP indicator data

    • Competing priorities for LHD and TBCB staff

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    LHD Assessment of TIP


    In 10 jurisdictions where long-term TIP outcome data are available, structured interviews were conducted by TBCB staff with LHD key informants.


    On a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high), TIP participants reported:

    • Average satisfaction with results : 4.2

    • Average contribution of TIP to results: 3.4

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    Web-Based Indicator Reports

    • Secure system access (

      • Access to California-wide TIP reports for all users

      • For TIP participants, access to individual county reports

    • System always available

    • Tailored reports

      • By year

      • By indicator

    • Data updated several times per year

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    CDC’s Proposed TB Indicators

    • A set of indicators will be included in the TB Cooperative Agreements for new funding period 2010-2014

    • Several prioritized indicators will be visualized in a web-based system modeled on the TIP online reports, starting 2009

    • One new TB indicator intersects with HIV:

      • Increase the proportion of TB cases with positive or negative HIV test result reported to 88.7% by 2015

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    Possible HIV/TB Indicatorsfor Discussion

    HIV Testing of Persons with TB

    • TB cases alive at diagnosis with positive or negative HIV test result reported

      TB Testing of Persons with HIV

    • HIV cases alive at diagnosis with positive or negative TB test result reported

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    Rationale for Testingfrom white paper by the National TB Controllers Association

    • HIV testing of TB patients, suspects and contacts:

      • Detect new HIV infections

      • Improved outcomes for TB patients with HIV

      • Make referrals to HIV care and support services

      • Initiate and coordinate TB and HIV treatment

      • Prioritize contacts for TB investigation

      • Educate patients about TB/HIV

    • TB testing of known HIV-infected patients, and treatment of TB and LTBI:

      • Prevent transmission among a highly vulnerable population and prevent future TB disease

      • Educate patients about risks and consequences of TB

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    Next Steps

    • Do we agree on the need for indicators?

    • Discuss possible indicators

    • What are the next steps to being able to measure them?

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    • Local health department staff participating in TIP

    • TB Control TIP staff: David Beers, Anne Cass, Bryan Faulstich, Jennifer Flood, Michael Joseph, Lisa Pascopella, Gayle Schack, Stephanie Spencer, Joan Sprinson, Lisa True, Jan Young

    • Division of TB Elimination Evaluation Workgroup, CDC