Development, use, and integration of a nationally-distributed HIV/AIDS electronic health information system

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Background The management of HIV infection requires extensive, longitudinal information record-keeping and coordination to ensure optimal monitoring and outcomes of care and treatment.

Objective Agencies funded by The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act are increasingly required to monitor the quality of their HIV care and generate reports for funding agencies. To assist in their data collection and reporting capacity, the HIV/AIDS Bureau in the Health Resources and Services Administration released its first version of a software application called CAREWare in 2000.

Methods This report describes the development of the application, the agencies that use it, how it is used, and overall satisfaction. The role of CAREWare in the larger health information technology landscape affecting HIV primary care providers is also discussed.

Results and Conclusion CAREWare has evolved significantly in functionality and use, including the capacity to run in a real-time network connecting multiple service providers, generate performance measures, and import data in multiple formats. The application is the source of over half of the Bureau s data, is used regularly by most providers and is installed in nearly every state. Ongoing enhancements will be essential to ensure that CAREWare stays current in a rapidly-changing environment of health information technology and data exchange.

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