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Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e31820f8e43
Commentary

The National Tuberculosis Surveillance System Training Program to Ensure Accuracy of Tuberculosis Data

Magee, Elvin MPH, MS; Tryon, Cheryl MS; Forbes, Alstead JD, LLM; Heath, Bruce BA; Manangan, Lilia MPH, RN

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Abstract

Objectives: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention implemented a national training program for health care workers and surveillance staff to ensure accuracy of data reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Tuberculosis Surveillance System and increase training capacity in tuberculosis surveillance.

Methods: To address the changing epidemiology of tuberculosis and related reporting requirements, a working group of tuberculosis experts revised the Report of Verified Case of Tuberculosis (RVCT), the National Tuberculosis Surveillance System data collection form. The revision prompted a need for training in accurately completing the form. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention interdisciplinary training team collaborated with key partners in assessing health care worker training needs regarding the RVCT. The team conducted 5 field tests to ensure instructional effectiveness of the training materials. Participants worked through materials, shared experiences, asked questions, and stated concerns about the RVCT. On the basis of these inputs, the team developed an innovative and comprehensive training program.

Results: The training materials included instructions for completing each item on the RVCT form, case studies to enable participants to apply the instructions to real-life situations, and visual aids to enhance learning. In both quantitative and qualitative responses, participants indicated that the RVCT training course and self-study materials helped them gain the knowledge needed to accurately complete the RVCT. The team conducted 14 facilitator-led courses and trained 343 health care workers and surveillance staff; 82 of these were training-of-trainers participants.

Conclusions: Collaboration and innovation are essential in implementing an effective national surveillance-training program to ensure the accurate collection and reporting of tuberculosis surveillance data.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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