Exposure to respirable crystalline silica is known to increase the risk of progression to active tuberculosis (TB) disease in those who have latent TB infection. Both latent TB infection and active TB disease are relevant components of screening examinations in silica-exposed workers.Methods
Health care providers screening silica-exposed workers for TB must generally:Methods
Using a publicly-funded, transparent, and democratic process, the Department of Labour and Industries has developed a TB risk assessment and testing algorithm for adult workers exposed to respirable crystalline silica.Methods
The screening tool integrates these varied needs and resources into a cohesive document for use at the point of health care delivery.Result
The tool is a clinical adjunct that helps health care providers make two key decisions when evaluating patients with exposure to respirable crystalline silica:Discussion
Widespread availability of the risk assessment and testing algorithm is assured through direct inclusion in Washington State regulatory documents. The tool integrates medical content and public policy for clinicians performing the TB screening in silica-exposed workers through a single, accessible form. As a freely-available clinical aid, it is available to clinicians performing TB screening in silica-exposed workers throughout the United States, and worldwide.