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QR Code Sample Tracking Revolutionizing TB Care

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Under the Reimagine TB Care Project Supported by PATH and STOP TB Partnership, Everwell conducted a pilot project from December 2022 to March 2023 to automate sample tracking in Ni-kshay using QR codes, in Mumbai’s Kurla district.



Background:

  • The India TB Program used the Ni-kshay Tests module for storing TB test records digitally but lacked insight into the time it took to obtain results, the sample's journey, and the frequency of sample rejection.

  • Manual tracking via telephonic follow-ups was common, leading to inefficiencies.

Intervention:

  • The pilot project aimed to automate sample tracking using QR codes in conjunction with the existing Nikshay platform.

  • The intervention was implemented by NTEP staff and the existing sample courier agency in selected public and private health facilities on a pilot basis.

  • Samples checked in at peripheral health facilities were labeled with QR code stickers.

Features Implemented in the Pilot:

  • Check-in and Check-out: Health facility staff could track when samples arrived at and left their facility.

  • Sample Rejection: Samples unfit for testing could be rejected with reasons recorded.

  • Sample Journey: Staff could view the journey of each sample, including the places it had been and associated timings.

Implementation:

  • QR codes were supplied by the project.

  • Health facility staff received training in effective implementation of the intervention, utilizing both web and mobile applications.

  • A total of 1,519 samples were tracked using QR codes, and an impressive 95% of samples were successfully tracked, with no samples lost.

This pilot project's success demonstrates the potential of technology, in this case, QR codes and digital tracking, to significantly enhance the efficiency and quality of TB care services in the India TB Program. It not only streamlines the sample tracking process but also provides valuable data on sample journeys and rejections, which can be critical for program improvements. The high adoption rate and the absence of lost samples are clear indicators of the project's success in improving NTEP staff efficiency and quality of service delivery.

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