​​​​Spring 2018​

​​​APHL helps laboratories transition from paper-based to electronic reporting systems for HIV viral load testing

Photo: A scientist at a health center in Maputo, Mozambique uses the center's LIS system and barcode printer

​Since 2014, APHL has collaborated with Mozambique's Ministry of Health to transition laboratories that conduct viral load testing from paper-based to electronic​ laboratory information systems (LIS). To date, 13 of the country's regional, provincial and national referral laboratories have been equipped with LIS. Leaders at these institutions and at the Ministry of Health report that the new systems have led to better data quality, shorter test turn-around time and stronger disease surveillance nationwide.

In addition, APHL has installed a secure, central database at the Ministry of Health to capture information on a near real-time basis from laboratories with an LIS. This centralized repository receives data on laboratory test requests and results to provide real-time data monitoring and improved data quality. For example, the Ministry of Health is now able to monitor LIS-generated data and provide feedback to data submission sites. The database's report​ing and dashboard capabilities have permitted greater use of laboratory data and better understanding​ of test results by demographic and geographic region.

But one size does not fit all, so at smaller health centers where LIS is not yet feasible, APHL is working with partners to implement an electronic referral system, which allows centers to place test orders and receive results electronically. To date, more than 80 centers across Mozambique have​ joined the referral system, which requires only a desktop, printer and internet connectivity to operate.

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For more information on this initiative, contact Reshma Kakkar, manager, Global Health LIS, at reshma.kakkar@aphl.org.