HCW Screening

Use QuantiFERON-TB Gold for your healthcare worker TB screening program and improve accuracy, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Healthcare workers are at 2- to 5-fold increased risk of developing latent TB infection compared with the general population (1). Even employees with brief patient contact and members of staff without patient care responsibilities may be exposed to TB through droplets from a person with TB disease. Transmission of TB bacteria in healthcare settings to and between patients and healthcare workers has been reported in virtually every country of the world, regardless of how much TB exists in the local community.

QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT) is an indirect blood test that can help detect TB infection. QFT is a major scientific advance over the 100-year-old tuberculin skin test (Mantoux, TST, or PPD), giving greater accuracy and cost-effectiveness, and a more reliable result in a single visit

"Lean" the New Hire Onboarding Process for Healthcare Workers

Learn about Lean in healthcare settings, and how Mercy Medical Center, Redding, California greatly improved tuberculosis screening of healthcare workers by including QuantiFERON-TB Gold in their Lean TB testing algorithm. Release Date: May 8, 2015.

Reduce onboarding from 9 days or more to only 2 or 3 days with QFT

Table 1. TST vs. QFT: observations of key screening issues
ObservationTSTQFT
New employee visits4 visits or more1 visit
EMR entryManual entry of requisition; manual entry of test results in EMR necessaryDirect entry into EMR; test results are automatically received in EMR
Testing/results variabilityTST is a subjective test with high inter/intra-observer variability and a higher margin for errorQFT is an objective laboratory test with low variability
Waiting for next step in the process8 days or more1 to 2 days
Risk of no showsNew hires who do not return within the correct timeframe may have to reschedule placement of new TST and restart TB screening, creating additional work for EH staff and nursing staff (repeated TST placements).Not applicable
Risk of false-positive results86% specificity (2)
14 out of 100 are false positive and go to unnecessary X-ray follow-up
99% specificity (2, 3)
Very few false positives

Clinical resources

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References

1. Baussano, I., et al. (2011) Tuberculosis among health care workers. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 17, 488.

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010) Updated guidelines for using interferon-gamma release assays to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection — United States. MMWR 59(RR05).

3. QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT) ELISA Package Insert. 1075116 Rev. 03 March 2016.

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