Tuberculosis in the Air We Breathe: A Model Assessment of Texas Provisions for Tuberculosis Case Identification
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This study has three purposes: (1) to examine the suggested provisions for case identification in the 2012 CDC Menu of Suggested Provisions for State Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Laws; (2) to use the Menu of Suggested Provisions for State Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Laws as a comparative framework to assess current Texas TB law for case identification; and (3) to make recommendations to improve Texas TB laws for case identification based on the comparative assessment. This study uses case study methodology and a coding research procedure for the systematic assessment of Texas law for TB case identification. A conceptual framework based on the four general provision categories for TB case identification outlined in the Menu- reporting, screening, laboratory testing, and examination- was operationalized to direct the data collection and assessment. Study findings demonstrate that overall, Texas law provides significant authority for TB reporting, screening, laboratory testing and examination activities. However, only the Menu standards for screening were fully met. Weaknesses were found for reporting, laboratory testing and examination. In addition, essential screening standards supported by the literature were absent in the Menu recommendations and the Texas provisions. In conclusion, action is needed to update and amend Texas laws for TB case identification. Making the changes suggested in this study for Texas statutes and regulations requires limited resources and offers significant tangible benefits. Recommendations and goodwill are important and beneficial, but relying solely on them to curtail the risk of this deadly disease is insufficient. Only legal requirements ensure that best practices for TB prevention and care are consistently implemented.