SETTING: The tuberculous infection control strategy, FAST (Find cases Actively, Separate safely and Treat effectively), recommends prompt initiation of likely effective anti-tuberculosis treatment informed by Xpert® MTB/RIF results.OBJECTIVE: To describe FAST implementation at Quang Nam Provincial TB and Lung Disease Hospital (QNH), Tam Ky, Viet Nam, using time to initiation of effective TB treatment as a process measure. DESIGN: Hospital logs were used to calculate the time to likely effective treatment in patients with pulmonary TB (PTB) hospitalised during the study period. RESULTS: Between 1 January and 31 December 2016, of 858 patients treated for PTB, 493 (57.5%) received likely effective treatment. The median time to likely effective treatment was 3 days (interquartile range 2.0-6.0), with 213 (43.2%) patients receiving likely effective treatment within 2 days. Of 81 patients receiving likely effective treatment for drug-susceptible TB with a positive Xpert result as their initial in-patient diagnostic test, 64 (79.0%) received likely effective treatment within 2 days compared with 10 (5.7%) who were initially smear-negative then found to be Xpert-positive (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: A 'time to' process measure of the FAST tuberculous infection control strategy indicates delays in the initiation of likely effective anti-tuberculosis treatment in a resource-limited hospital. Expanding access to Xpert may speed time to likely effective treatment.
Int j tuberc lung dis
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