An overview of the quality assurance programme for HIV rapid testing in South Africa: Outcome of a 2-year phased implementation of quality assurance program
This is the first large-scale assessment of the implementation of HIV Rapid Test Quality Improvement Initiative in South Africa.
We used a quasi-experimental one group post-test only design. The intervention implemented starting April 2014 comprised health-care worker training on quality assurance (QA) of HIV rapid testing and enrolment of the facilities in proficiency testing (PT), targeting 2,077 healthcare facilities in 32 high HIV burden districts. Following the intervention, two consecutive rounds of site assessments were undertaken. The first, conducted after a median of 7.5 months following the training, included 1,915 facilities that participated in the QA training, while the second, conducted after a median of one-year following the first-round assessment included 517 (27.0%) of the 1,915 facilities. In both assessments, the Stepwise-Process-for-Improving-the-quality-of-HIV-Rapid-Testing (SPI-RT) checklist was used to score facilities’ performance in 7 domains: training, physical facility, safety, pre-testing, testing, post-testing and external quality assessment. Facilities’ level of readiness for national certification was assessed.
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