Impact of a National Tuberculosis Laboratory Network (Peru)
Dr. Hamish Fraser, Pablo Rodriguez from the NGO Socios En Salud in Peru and Joaquín Blaya created a web-based TB laboratory information system, termed “e-Chasqui,” that provides accurate and timely information to clinical personnel. This system, functional since Nov. 2005, is being used by the Peruvian National Institute of Health, two intermediate laboratories and 16 health centers and hospitals which serve over two million people. With the help of a DRCLAS Collaborative research grant during 2007-2008 the team established a study and field procedures to perform a formal evaluation of e-Chasqui to quantify its benefits and costs on patient care.
This project builds on a ten-year collaboration among a team of U.S. and Peruvian investigators, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Ministry of Health of Peru. It is a subset of a larger study, called “Rapid Methods,” which aims to increase regional laboratory capacity. By using the data collected by this overarching study, this proposal offers a unique opportunity to assess the clinical effects of improving information flow with reduced costs. Results will serve to guide the development and implementation of information systems in TB and MDR-TB treatment. The aim is to provide new knowledge on a critical research question: whether the use of information systems can be shown to improve the quality of care provided to tuberculosis (TB) and multi-drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) patients in Peru.
Participating Harvard faculty: Dr Hamish S.F. Fraser, MBChB, MSc, MRCP Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Assistant Professor of Medicine; Member of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology
Collaborators: Pablo Rodríguez, NGO Socios En Salud, Sucursal Perú, Doctoral Student; and Joaquín Blaya, M.S. Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology
Collaborative Institutions: MIT