Phuong Hoa, Communications Officer, EpiC Vietnam
Rachel Coley, Technical Advisor and Project Manager, EpiC Vietnam
EpiC Vietnam’s Strategic Information Team

High-quality health information systems play a critical role in forecasting, planning, and implementing HIV prevention and treatment programs. Thus, the Meeting Targets and Maintaining Epidemic Control (EpiC) project works closely with community and government stakeholders to develop systems that align with donor and government requirements and are focused on improving care for communities served. In Vietnam, EpiC is focused on creating quality systems and transferring ownership to local government entities while providing ongoing technical assistance to enhance critical programs.

In 2023, EpiC launched Key Population Electronic Logbook (KP eLog) in with Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control. KP eLog was adapted from previous systems EpiC and its predecessors developed over the past decade. It aims to improve HIV data quality for prevention and testing services and link data between community-based interventions for key populations and facility-based services. It also expands data management for prevention services including provision of harm reduction supplies. The web-based system is accessible to facility staff and community health workers via smartphone or computer.

KP eLog moves information seamlessly between community-based and health facility interventions. When community health workers work with clients, they assess their HIV risk and needs, advise them on HIV screening services, provide harm reduction supplies, and perform HIV testing with clients’ consent.  They enter this data into KP eLog, along with test results and consent forms. The system transmits HIV screening results to a health facility for confirmatory testing. At the facility, staff can access and reuse relevant laboratory records for continuity of care. They also provide additional counseling, obtain consent for blood draws, collect samples, and facilitate transfer to relevant HIV services. This integration:

  • Ensures data consistency
  • Streamlines the process of gathering essential information
  • Facilitates efficient comparison and validation of data, particularly for monthly or quarterly reports

KP eLog has increased the number of client records that match between community-based and facility-based records from 48.3 percent under the previous, non-web-based system to 94.1 percent during the KP eLog pilot phase (October 2022 to October 2023).

KP eLog also integrates indicators and validations to ensure consistency among services, facilitating crosschecks to maintain accurate testing records for key information such as registration date and government-provided identification codes.

The KP eLog system simplifies data entry and provides a convenient and swift way to refer clients.

Staff member, Ho Chi Minh Center for Disease Control

KP eLog exports information to aggregated tracking systems used by Ho Chi Minh City for monitoring program quality and community interventions. Data security provisions are integrated into every feature and step of this process.

A health care worker logs data into KP eLog (Photo credit: Tran Thien Tu/Rice for FHI 360)

The system is now in use across Ho Chi Minh City, including 472 HIV testing and counseling facilities, both public and private, and 19 community-based organizations. As of March 2024, more than 1,100 users can enter data and  HIV prevention and testing activities for more than 240,000 people have been recorded. The KP eLog incorporates robust safeguards to ensure data security and maintain client confidentiality. All data are encrypted, strict user permission limits access to information, audit trails track users, and secure authentication mechanisms ensure accounts are used only by authorized personnel. These safeguards align with both international and domestic data protection guidelines and collectively prioritize data security and client confidentiality throughout KP eLog.

EpiC will continue working with Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control to upgrade KP eLog to align with new reporting requirements and strategic priorities. “We aim to enhance the software’s capabilities, enabling tools to facilitate tailored and streamlined recording and reporting processes,” said Mr. Luong Quoc Binh, Deputy Head, HIV/AIDS Faculty, Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control.

The breadth and reach of this system and its ownership by the Ho Chi Minh City, will help local authorities improve individual care, synthesize trends, and build a sustainable provincial HIV response to accelerate national progress toward reaching epidemic control by 2030. Local ownership also sets the stage for future integration into national data exchanges.

KP eLog was developed by EpiC Vietnam with funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Featured image: Clinic staff and community health worker discuss client needs in Ho Chi Minh City’s Thu Duc District General Hospital. (Photo credit: Tran Thien Tu/Rice for FHI 360)