Background: As increasing numbers of children initiate antiretroviral treatment (ART), a systematic process is needed to measure and improve pediatric HIV care quality.
Methods: Pediatric HIVQUAL-T, a model for performance measurement and quality improvement (QI), was adapted from the U.S. HIVQUAL model by incorporating Thai national guidelines as standards. In each of five pilot-site hospitals in Thailand in 2005-2007, clinical data abstracted from patient records were used to identify priority areas for QI. Improvement strategies were designed by clinic teams in different care system areas, and indicators were remeasured in 2006 and 2007.
Results: At the five hospitals, 1119 HIV-infected children younger than 15 years of age received care in 2005, 1183 in 2006, and 1,341 in 2007--of whom 460, 435, and 418, respectively, were selected for chart abstraction. Of the eligible children, > or = 95% received clinical monitoring, annual CD4 count monitoring, ART, and adherence and growth assessments; 60%-90% received Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis, tuberculosis (TB) screening, oral health assessments, and HIV disclosure. Indicators with a score < or = 40% in 2005 but with significant improvement (p < .05) in 2006-2007 following QI activities were Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) prophylaxis, and cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis and immunization screenings.
Conclusions: Despite the promulgation of national guidelines, performance rates of some pediatric HIV indicators needed improvement. The pediatric HIVQUAL-T model facilitates use of hospital data for pediatric HIV care improvement and indicates that the U.S. HIVQUAL model is adaptable to developing countries.