Routine monitoring of patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) is
crucial for measuring program success and accurate drug forecasting.
However, compiling data from patient registers to measure retention in
ART is labour-intensive. To address this challenge, the authors
conducted a pilot study in Malawi to assess whether patient ART
retention could be determined using pharmacy records as compared to
estimates of retention based on standardized paper- or electronic based
Twelve ART facilities were included in the study: six used paper-based
registers and six used electronic data systems. One ART facility
implemented an electronic data system in quarter three and was included
as a paper-based system facility in quarter two only. Routine patient
retention cohort reports, paper or electronic, were collected from
facilities for both quarter two [April–June] and quarter three
[July–September], 2010. Pharmacy stock data were also collected from
the 12 ART facilities over the same period. Numbers of ART continuation
bottles recorded on pharmacy stock cards at the beginning and end of
each quarter were documented. These pharmacy data were used to calculate
the total bottles dispensed to patients in each quarter with intent to
estimate the number of patients retained on ART. Information for time
required to determine ART retention was gathered through interviews with
clinicians tasked with compiling the data.
Tweya, H.; Feldacker, C.; Ben-Smith, A.; Harries, AD.; Komatsu, R.; Jahn, A.; Phiri, S.; Tassie, JM. Simplifying ART cohort monitoring: Can pharmacy stocks provide accurate estimates of patients retained on antiretroviral therapy in Malawi? BMC Health Services Research (2012) 12 (1) 210. [DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-12-210]
Simplifying antiretroviral therapy cohort monitoring: can pharmacy stocks provide accurate estimates of patients retained on ART in Malawi?