We understand the need for effective employee health screening for South African organisations, not only to stay in compliance with national regulations but to maintain the health of their greatest assets – their employees. Employee Health Screening Solutions provide clients with a complete, consistent view across locations that meets national guidelines and supports reporting against South Africa’s National Strategic Plan.
South Africa has a large number of people living with HIV, and it is also one of the countries with the highest burden of tuberculosis (TB).
- TB and HIV are a significant problem in the mining industry. Mineworkers are at a higher risk of contracting TB due to several working conditions and environmental factors, and there is also a high prevalence of HIV in mining communities, leading to a high number of workers with TB and HIV co-infections.
- Legislation in South Africa is in place for infectious disease management, including risk-based assessments and associated testing to be done across various industries such as the mining industry, for highly prevalent diseases.
Cytespace Africa Laboratories provides proactive screening programmes for employees that allow companies to assess the overall health status and determine the appropriate action in terms of treatment and monitoring.
We have developed expertise within HIV and TB testing and applied that to screening services. We have combined this deep therapeutic expertise in TB and HIV, a robust logistics network, quality-focused staff, and a leading-edge analytics platform to provide corporations in South Africa accurate, timely and easily accessible health screening results.
We have been working with some of the large mining houses in South Africa for over three years, providing companywide employee health screening services. During this time, the relationships have subsequently grown, and now involve a wider team within the organisation. Relationships include Executive Management, Finance, Procurement and Operations. These relationships have led to the following:
- Executive Management – We provide consolidated reports from our analytics tools, giving them a snapshot of the “health” of their screening programme.
- Finance – We invoice directly into their system based on what has been reported, limited manual intervention.
- Operations – We can show per site/shaft/clinic compliance in terms of the programme and highlight issues/challenges to operational management.
- IT – We can directly transfer into the company health systems with the correct data transfer specs agreed upon.
Diagnostic Laboratory Services with Analytics and Project Management
Mining companies strive to adhere to the requirements for employee health screening as well as the goals set out by the National Strategic plan and, therefore, run the appropriate laboratory testing needed. They have the choice of using either government laboratories or private sector laboratories. Government laboratories, in general, have a longer turnaround time than private laboratories due to the burden on the system from a volume perspective. Because a key to attacking TB and reducing the likelihood of the disease spreading is quick diagnosis with subsequent treatment, companies often choose private laboratories for their screening services. However, a typical diagnostic laboratory in South Africa would mostly only engage in performing the testing and releasing the results.
A need in this segment is the addition of analytics that provide data and combined reports, which, in many instances, are a challenge to most diagnostic laboratories. In most instances, the testing selection is at the discretion of the nurses at the clinics, which can add unnecessary analysis to the process, increasing unnecessary spend. Partnering with Cytespace Africa Laboratory will involve a database setup specific to the testing algorithms designed and approved by the client.
Cytespace Africa Laboratories operates at some of the highest global safety and quality standards established today. Our focus on quality means you can have the utmost confidence in the results to make key decisions that affect your employees’ health. We utilise our experience in protocol management and apply this directly to this sector which gives tight control in terms of management, as well as visibility into the data, to allow companies to report to government as per specific requirements. For every client, we set up a specific programme with protocols that matches their site needs.
The information we provide includes:
- Flow charts – We create a flow chart that shows the different scenarios and results they can get and the different steps to follow. We design this flow chart according to National Guidelines to show the sites what steps they need to follow to be in compliance. This offering is of great value to the site, providing educational information that can lead to decision-making. It’s specific to the Corporate Health Screening programme. We have had years of experience conducting clinical trials across Africa, and we are using our Clinical Trial knowledge and therapeutic expertise to apply protocols to allow South African organisations to stay in compliance with national regulations and guidelines.
- Patient scheduler – We share an indication state-specific scheduler (e.g. HIV) with clinics/sites to show the next estimated visit date and pertinent details of the appointment. This information is typically only tracked manually by companies, whereas our scheduler report provides valuable supporting information, such as screening, check-ups and annuals.
This is developed by the site in alignment with the National Guidelines for the specific disease entity and includes:
- Health Check Diagnosis
- Medical Condition
- Analysis Concept
- Site information
- Visit type
- Tests performed and results
- Estimated next visit date
- Type of follow up appointment
We also developed a predictive scheduler showing future expected visits, which is shared with clinics weekly. This schedule serves as a reminder for clinics to schedule the patients on the programme’s next follow up visits. This is especially helpful for TB patients, which has varying or different follow up appointments.
We generate monthly reports for each indication to provide the sites with status updates. Companies need to internally report screening programmes for HIV and TB, and we provide monthly reports so that they do not need to manually create them. These reports allow the sites to monitor patients, providing important patient profile information including viral load, which allows them to determine if someone needs to continue treatment.
Typical reports include the following:
- Number of visits
- Unscheduled and repeat visits
- Enrolment in programmes
- Results sorted by site/clinic/shaft
- AFB monitoring
- Culture monitoring
- Test cancellations
Data analytics and other services
We provide data analytics that is transferred into client systems, budget management, training, project management, monitoring, and customised results that suit the client needs while meeting National Guidelines and other specific requirements.
Our focus on quality means you can have the utmost conﬁdence in the results to make key decisions that affect your employees’ health.
Meeting the client’s specific needs
When initially providing services to a large mining client, we learned that it did not have easy access to all the data in one place, and therefore, could not perform an analysis of its own data. Therefore, we provided data analytics that gets transferred into the client’s systems, using Infosario. Infosario is used to pull client-specific reports to allow monitoring and management of screening programmes. Customised reports can be set up to ensure reporting and compliance against National Guidelines/Requirements.
Further investigation into their unmet needs resulted in our providing the following:
- Budget management: This includes monthly reporting on budget tracking.
- Training: We train their clinic staff on our sampling and shipping procedures, as well as on Infosario Site Gateway to get their laboratory reports, resolve queries and order supplies.
- Monitoring: We monitor all positive results at screening, and alert and remind the clinic staff which patients need to be placed on treatment. The average TAT (turnaround time) for placing patients on treatment is also measured and reported back to management. We also monitor duplicate visits incorrectly requested by site staff which are not required. We follow up with the clinic before conducting the testing on duplicate visits received, and cancel any testing set up in error – thus saving the client money.
After beginning this relationship with the client, we learned that we had to change the design of some of the outputs, such as requisition design, pricing, client management and monthly reporting. We now produce results that specifically meet the client’s needs, allowing them to report as per the National Guidelines or specific Occupational programmes within the organisation.
Examples include some of the below:
- Number of patients involved in the TB programme
- Number of positive TB patients enrolled in treatment and subsequent conversion
- Number of patients involved in the HIV (ARV) programme
- Time is taken from diagnosis to treatment
- Number of patients with suppressed viral load post-treatment
- Savings accrued due to management of unnecessary repeat testing
- We have worked closely with several clients over the past few years in the employee health screening sector to understand their specific needs. Due to expertise derived from our clinical trial background, robust systems and internal knowledge, our services provide tailored results that are beneficial to each company and its employees and contribute overall to the broader goal of South Africa’s alignment with the National Strategic Plan.