TB Notes Newsletter
No. 3, 2007
National Tuberculosis Indicators Project (NTIP): An Update
Standardized program objectives, and indicators that measure progress
toward those objectives, are essential for states to undertake evaluation
and program improvement. The Program Evaluation and Surveillance
Teams in DTBE, in collaboration with state partners, formed workgroups
to build evaluation capacity by establishing a framework for an
integrated approach to program planning, monitoring, and evaluation.
Through a collaborative process, 16 high-priority national TB program
objectives were identified. Targets for the top four objectives
(i.e., completion of therapy, TB case rate, contact investigation,
and laboratory reporting) were set, and indicators for measuring
progress toward these objectives were proposed.
Modeled after the Tuberculosis Indicators Project (TIP) developed
in the California Department of Health, the National Tuberculosis
Indicators Project (NTIP) will be a web-based system for monitoring
progress that can be used at the national, state, and local levels.
This system will reinforce the national priorities for TB programs
and standardize measurement for tracking progress using existing
The development of the NTIP includes various players and is taking
place in multiple stages. Representatives from four states—
Steve Hughes from New York
State, Deborah Sodt and Wendy Sutherland from
Minnesota, Katie Garman and Erin Holt from
Tennessee, and Barbara Stone from
Colorado—are integral partners in the development of this
project. Public health laboratory staff from Minnesota,
Tennessee, and Colorado
are also included in the discussion on the laboratory objective.
Members of the Surveillance team and Mycobacteriology Laboratory
Branch from DTBE serve as the technical review team.
During weekly meetings led by DTBE’s Kai Young and John Jereb
(and Heather Morrow-Almeida during her assignment here), group members
work on refining the objectives and indicators and developing standardized
calculation methodologies and report templates. Four standards (utility,
feasibility, propriety, and accuracy) are used to assess each element
of the individual indicator reports, as well as the reports’
expected application to the effort of program evaluation, particularly
at the state and local levels.
Currently, 12 of the 16 objectives have
been addressed in focus-group meetings since January 2007. The review
of the remaining objectives and their respective indicator reports
is expected to be completed in summer 2007. The web-based monitoring
system to produce the indicator reports is being developed concurrently.
Overall, the process for developing the NTIP has established mutual
understanding of and agreement on the national TB program objectives.
Moreover, the indicators and calculations for monitoring progress
toward objectives are being standardized. DTBE staff as well as
state and local programs will be able to use these report templates
for measuring progress toward the objectives.
Reported by Kai Young, Heather Morrow-Almeida, and John
Div of TB Elimination