Performance Improvement 2006. AIDSInfo Process Evaluation Study: Analysis of Trends in Service Usage, Accuracy and Customer Satisfaction


AIDSinfo, sponsored by several Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) agencies, serves as the primary dissemination point for Federal HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention guidelines through a comprehensive Web site, and provides confidential responses to inquiries by telephone, postal and e- mail, and through its Web-based Live Help. AIDSinfo implemented a process evaluation study to assess how successfully the service is currently implemented, and to determine whether AIDSinfo goals are  being achieved. The evaluation, which included secondary data analysis of AIDSinfo sources, content analysis of Live Help and e-mail transcripts, and external monitoring of telephone and e-mail services, provided information about the characteristics of AIDSinfo customers (including usage patterns), satisfaction levels, and the accuracy of the information provided by staff. With regard to characteristics of users and requests, the majority of requests for information were received by e-mail (49 percent) or telephone (41 percent), with males more likely to use Live Help than females (Nine percent vs. five percent). The general public accounted for the largest percentage of requests (33 percent) followed by health professionals (19 percent) and HIV-infected individuals and their family/friends (14 percent).

Communication channel differed by requestor role, with organizational requestors and health care professionals more likely to use e-mail and HIV-infected individuals and their family/friends more likely to use the telephone. Over half (56 percent) of responses to questions were referrals only, regardless of communication channel. Analysis of the secondary data confirmed that AIDSinfo’s goal of serving as the primary dissemination point for Federal HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention guidelines is being met.

Satisfaction was high among all users and information was provided on a range of topics, including clinical trials, approved and experimental drugs, and preventive and therapeutic vaccines. While the analyses showed that usage patterns for consumer groups varied by communication channel, all users received reliable information in response to their queries. Findings from the content analysis and the accuracy monitoring study also indicated that users were provided with confidential, accurate, and professional responses, fulfilling AIDSinfo’s second goal of providing better service. The study led to recommendations that, when implemented, will enhance both the methods currently used to report on the service’s impact, and the nature and quality of responses to users.

PIC ID: 8164; Agency Sponsor: NIH-NIAID, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Federal Contact: Siskind, Rona, 301-435-3732; Performer: Aspen Systems Corporation, Rockville, MD

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