Improving Data, Improving Care

The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009 contains implicit guidance to the HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) to collect client-level, or name-based, data. Grantees and service providers now complete the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Services Report (RSR) detailing information on all the clients served during a calendar year.

Until recently, HAB data reports summarized the clients served in the aggregate. The reports did not provide unduplicated counts of clients, thereby hampering HAB’s ability to achieve its oversight and evaluation responsibilities.

RSR data gathered over time will ultimately give HAB staff the ability to compute client trends, services provided, and clinical processes and outcomes. Clients’ service utilization can also be analyzed to assess differences related to geographic, sociodemographic, or clinical factors.

HAB’s goal is to build a client-level data reporting system that provides a clearer overview on the characteristics of the funded grantees, their service providers, and the clients served through program funds. Data will also help address the disproportionate impact of HIV in communities of color by assessing organizational capacity and service utilization in minority communities.

RSR submissions in 2009 already show promising results:

  • 100 percent of grantee reports were submitted.
  • 100 percent of provider reports were submitted.
  • 97.9 percent of client-level data reports were submitted.
  • 178 providers uploaded client-level data despite requirement to do so.

The overall goal of these efforts it to create the most targeted, tailored, and efficient approach possible thereby reducing duplication of services and improving the overall health and wellbeing of people living with HIV/AIDS. These efforts are just some of many illustrating HAB’s role as a public health authority fulfilling its mandate to treat the underserved.