Step 7.1 – Develop the use of digital data and diagnostics connectivity
TST and TBST results have the advantage of being provided by the clinical staff themselves. Nevertheless, the results should be adequately registered.
For IGRAs, a mechanism must be in place to deliver test results to patients and the health care provider. Results may be made available online via a secure link, and email or SMS may be used to alert the person tested or the requesting clinician that results have been issued. Digital technologies make the delivery of results quicker and at times more reliable, although print copies may also be feasible and acceptable if they are delivered in a timely fashion (i.e. within 48–72 hours of blood sample collection).
Step 7.2 – Develop procedures for data backup, security and confidentiality
In addition to the recording of the test result in the medical chart, also useful for NTP planning and organization are public health surveillance systems to record those who are eligible for the test, test results and subsequent steps. NTPs need to ensure that data are secure and backed up, especially if test results are registered in electronic systems. SOPs for regular backup and retrieval of data are required, as are policies to secure confidentiality of patient data. Antivirus, antipiracy and antihacking mechanisms should be in place, as for any other health surveillance system.