This article describes the use of the SMS printer as part of the Expidited Results System (ERS) which greatly improves the quality of Mozambique early infant diagnosis program.
SMS Printer is a small, portable, standalone device for receiving and printing messages sent to it. The unit works with most network providers and can be supplied in many different configurations.
In Mozambique, limited sample referral logistics, laboratory capacity and reduced numbers of skilled health care workers has led to long turn around times for critical Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) results, significantly delaying treatment initiation, and ultimately contributing unnecessarily to child mortality.
An innovative system was designed to allow laboratories to send test results directly to almost 300 health centers across the country. The Expedited Results System (ERS), which utilizes GPRS wireless technology and simple, inexpensive SMS Printers, vastly reduces the time and cost of transporting results from the laboratory to clinics. It is managed centrally by an administrative assistant, reducing the workload of skilled laboratory technicians. Confidentiality and the delivery of results are guaranteed through automated monitoring and evaluation software.
Preliminary results from the first phase of implementation in the urban setting of greater Maputo Cityshowed a decrease in the average return time of completed EID results to patients from 85 to 33 days when using the ERS. The cost of transmitting each result using the SMS Printer that integrates GPRS technology is insignificant, even at high volume. As the evaluated health centers lie within a 20km radius of the reference laboratory and have relatively good logistics support, it is expected that the effect of the ERS will be even more dramatic for less-resourced and more distant health centres.
The ERS was designed, piloted, and rolled out on a national basis in Mozambique in less than 10 months as the result of collaboration between government, partners, and the private sector. While initially created to accelerate EID results, other tests such as CD4 and tuberculosis are currently being integrated. This approach, now developed and tested, can be easily and rapidly transferred to other countries. A complete description of the system, including costs and procedures to implement will be shared.
The SMS printer allows you to send custom messages directly to the printer via a text message or website/web form. This has the advantage of using SMS or a GPRS connection to send the data to the printer, this results in a lower cost for each transaction and for custom fields to be sent to the printer.
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